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Sunday, May 9th, 2021

Bill targets global health accountability

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A group of lawmakers recently introduced a measure they said is designed to hold foreign nations accountable for suppressing or distorting information concerning international public health crises.

Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) joined Reps. John Curtis (R-UT), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Jim Banks (R-IN), and Liz Cheney (R-WY) in introducing the Li Wenliang Global Public Health Accountability Act, which includes the Wuhan coronavirus.

“The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for misleading the world about the scope and danger of the coronavirus,” Hawley said. “Dr. Li Wenliang bravely tried to warn his country and the world about the spread and seriousness of this virus. We should honor his legacy and do our part to hold the CCP accountable for this pandemic.”

The bill is modeled after the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, officials said, noting sanctions include inadmissibility to the United States, revocation of existing visas, and the blocking of all property within the United States.

The measure also provides Congress with authority to request the president review specific foreign officials for sanctions eligibility and report to Congress on whether he/she intends to impose sanctions within 120 days of receiving such a request.

“Dr. Li tried to warn his country and the world about the Wuhan coronavirus, but he was silenced by the Chinese Communist Party,” Cotton said. “By hiding the truth about the virus, the CCP turned a regional health problem into a global catastrophe. In honor of Dr. Li, our bill seeks to punish foreign officials responsible for suppressing information about international health crises, including the Wuhan virus.”