Blackburn has been one of the most critical voices in the Senate about China and has proposed a bill that would bring back pharmaceutical manufacturing to the U.S.
Sen. Blackburn says we should root out and prosecute every single Chinese Communist spy who dares to infiltrate our universities and businesses in a quest to steal American technology. https://t.co/DgbKTasTeo— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) April 8, 2020
“So basically what has happened is that China took all our jobs and they sent back to us a virus,” she said.
Blackburn said that there is evidence that Beijing knew about the virus outbreak in Wuhan for 51 days before issuing an alert. Many Republicans claim that precious time was lost that could have been devoted to preparing for the virus.The U.S. is still skeptical of death-toll reports from Beijing and takes the data at face value. It has been widely reported that the CIA is working through spies to get a more accurate read on the true death toll from the country.
“China needs to pay for this,” Blackburn said. “They need to admit that this was their mistake.”
She said she has a resolution that would declare that the U.S. Senate recognizes that China “started this; then they lied about it; then they weren’t transparent.”China has been criticized from the virus’ onset in the Hubei province city of Wuhan.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been one of the most vocal critics of China’s response to the outbreak. Last month, he said that Beijing “created a disinformation campaign” during the early stages of the virus, which resulted in its spread.
“They haven’t been sufficiently transparent and the risk you find, if we don’t get this right, if we don’t get to the bottom of this, is this could be something that is repeatable,” Pompeo said in March. “Maybe not in this form, maybe not in this way, but transparency matters.”
Blackburn has said Americans are raising concerns after China said it may withhold effective medications from the U.S. in the fight against the virus. She said many Americans are unhappy with reports that Beijing withheld pertinent information about the virus in its early stages and its decision to be “less than transparent” on where the virus originated.
“We have been disappointed in what we’ve seen from China,” she said. “And now we have a global pandemic.”