GOP Lawmaker: China Should Face Consequences For Indefensible Behavior At Start Of Coronavirus Outbreak
Republican Rep. Peter King said China should be punished for covering up the threat of the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 14,000 worldwide.
“If China had right up front done what it should’ve done as a responsible world citizen, we would not be in this position today. It’s indefensible. And there has to be consequences for their terrible behavior,” the New York lawmaker told radio show host John Catsimatidis on AM 970 in New York.
Health officials in Wuhan were told in late December that a new coronavirus was causing patients to become ill. Doctors who shared information on WeChat, a messaging app, about the new virus were reprimanded for it.
In January, Chinese officials minimized how severe the outbreak was in the country, allowing the virus to spread around the world.
The U.S. Intelligence Community warned President Trump earlier this year that the Chinese Communist Party was downplaying the threat, according to a Washington Post report. Despite the warnings in January and February, Trump and his allies publicly downplayed the outbreak, and critics said they missed a crucial window to limit the spread of the virus.
U.S. officials in recent weeks have condemned China for spreading what they say is misleading and false information about the outbreak.
“I wish they could’ve told us earlier about what was going on inside. We didn’t know about it until it started coming out publicly, but I wish they could’ve told us earlier because we could’ve come up with a solution,” Trump said Saturday. “China was secretive, okay? Very, very secretive. And that’s unfortunate. … If we had a two or three-month difference in time, it would’ve been much better.”