The 5 Republicans on a brand new House committee devoted to coronavirus oversight are calling for a spotlight on China’s position within the pandemic — they usually want the Chinese language ambassador referred to as in to testify.
China “downplayed” the preliminary outbreak of COVID-19 whereas “stockpiling medical provides” after which “manipulated” the World Well being Group to flow into false data, the GOP lawmakers write to committee chairman Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
The Republicans demand testimony not solely from China’s US ambassador, Cui Tiankai, but additionally from World Well being Group Director-Basic Tedros Adhanom, whom they accuse of being a willfully blind China cheerleader.
“We urge you to instantly be part of our investigation and maintain hearings to decide why the Chinese language authorities denied and downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the way China is now making an attempt to exploit the pandemic it precipitated,” they wrote.
A Democratic spokeswoman for the committee promptly denied the request.
“The Choose Committee will comply with its mission to make sure that taxpayer cash appropriated to deal with the pandemic is used effectively, successfully, and equitably. This physique just isn’t directed to focus on the origin of the virus,” the spokeswoman mentioned.
The WHO and the Chinese language embassy in Washington didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana signed the letter to Clyburn, which was obtained by The Put up, as did Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, Jackie Walorski of Indiana and Mark Inexperienced of Tennessee.
The GOP request would broaden the committee’s focus as Republicans together with President Trump specific concern that the panel shall be primarily an election-year assault automobile.
House Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) not too long ago famous that Clyburn’s endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his fortunes to make him the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee.
Trump instructed The Put up in an Oval Workplace interview this month that he perceived the Democratic committee members as hostile towards him. “They’re attempting to type a committee. Each one of many names is a complete kill, okay? It’s a complete kill,” he mentioned.
Committee Democrats embrace Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York, Maxine Waters of California, Nydia Velazquez of New York, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, Invoice Foster of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.
The Republicans argued within the seven-page letter to Clyburn that China must be a spotlight, partially, due to a drop in medical exports and continued actions to pilfer mental property.
“Whereas stealing American pharmaceutical analysis with one hand, China is openly utilizing the opposite to restrict pharmaceutical exports to america,” the lawmakers wrote. “The Chinese language authorities’s efforts to undermine the American effort to fight COVID- 19 and sabotage the worldwide financial restoration are ongoing.”