House Bill seeks to identify efforts by China to exploit COVID-19

A bill designed to identify and combat efforts by the Chinese government to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Preventing China from Exploiting COVID-19 Act calls upon the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to investigate how the Chinese government may exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and evaluate the risks to the United States.

“Since COVID-19 began, there is evidence that China is at work using the pandemic crisis against Americans through cyber-theft and the spread of misinformation,” Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), one of 13 sponsors of the bill, said. “We need to fully understand these threats and respond to them. We’re introducing the Preventing China from Exploiting COVID-19 Act to gather and analyze important intelligence our country needs to protect the American people and businesses.”

Specifically, the DNI is being asked to investigate the techniques used by the Chinese government to obstruct or retaliate against nations that have sought a full inquiry into China’s role in the emergence and spread of COVID-19. Also, the DNI is asked to analyze the activities undertaken by the Chinese government to acquire information and intellectual property related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines. Among other charges, the DNI is also asked to look at how the Chinese government is disseminating misinformation about COVID-19, including on U.S. social media platforms.

Along with Golden, the bill was sponsored by Reps. Kendra Horn (D-OK), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Max Rose (D-NY), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Ed Case (D-HI), Ben McAdams (D-UT), Lou Correa (D-CA), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM).

Dave Kovaleski

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