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Congressman Jason Smith

Congressman Jason Smith

China’s Cover-Up

As the Chinese coronavirus has ravaged the United States, upending nations in Europe, infecting nearly every single country on the face of the earth, one thing has been noticeably absent from the global conversation: China’s role in spreading this disease. Around the world, the total number of confirmed cases has topped two million. The question is how did we get here? After weeks and weeks of this pandemic, there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding this disease. However, there is one thing that we all know for sure: The Communist Chinese Government’s cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak allowed this virus to spread unchecked, threatening the health and stability of the free world. They must be held accountable.

When people in Wuhan began to fall ill with a mysterious SARS-like illness, instead of working to contain the virus, the Chinese Communist Party ruthlessly worked to contain the spread of information. This secrecy endangered millions of lives. Worse, leaked documents this week showed just how much China knew and when they knew it. On January 14th, the head of China’s National Health Commission said on a secret government call that the coronavirus was “the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003 and is likely to develop into a major public health event.” He also noted that with many people traveling through Wuhan, the risk of transmission and spread was “high.” Yet this information was concealed from the Chinese people and the global community. In fact, that very same day, the regime intentionally lied to its people, saying the risk of sustained transmission was low. Finally, nearly a week later, the communist government came clean to its people and the world. But it was too late; the damage was done, and the virus was past the stage of containment.

A big reason China was able to get away with such a brazen cover-up was because of the United Nations World Health Organization’s (WHO) eagerness to take China at their word. From the beginning, they greenlighted China’s cover-up by mimicking the regime’s talking points, saying that there was no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission, even though it was clear that China knew differently. Instead of doing their job and seeking out the facts, they got their information from the same Chinese authorities who were misinforming their own public and the world. Worse, they then offered it to the world with the WHO’s stamp of approval. Even when the Chinese regime decided to come clean about the coronavirus, it took the WHO nearly two weeks to declare a global health emergency at the end of January. Then, after waiting a month and a half, during which the coronavirus killed more than 4,000 people and spread to nearly every continent, they finally said what it really was: a pandemic. All while they were praising China’s handling of coronavirus. The WHO’s Director-General said China was “setting a new standard for outbreak response.” Well if concealing the real facts while locking your citizens in their homes is the “new standard,” I don’t want any part of that.

Whether it’s the United Nations undermining U.S. values by threatening our friends in Israel, or the WHO’s insistence to defend China’s cover-up of a global pandemic, I’m tired of America’s financial generosity to these global organizations going unappreciated. Thankfully, President Trump has been committed to building a stronger and safer America; advancing the interests of the United States, not organizations like the United Nations and WHO. He’s held China accountable and brought them back to the negotiating table, securing a deal to rebalance our trading relationship that included $50 billion in U.S. agriculture purchases, a major victory for farmers in southern Missouri. During this pandemic, when China threatened to stop shipping medical supplies to the U.S., President Trump continued to stand strong. He invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure ventilators, masks, and other crucial supplies were being produced in America. Moving forward we must work to rebuild our domestic production of vital medical supplies and equipment. Having our critical supply chains completely reliant on a dictatorship halfway across the world is a huge vulnerability and it must change.

After years of trying to con their way into the hearts and minds of nations around the world, China has shown the world the limitations of their inflated success. Even today, facts are emerging how this virus likely originated in a lab in Wuhan. This lab was the first in China to handle human pathogens, part of the regime’s attempt to prove their researchers were in the same league with the United States. Clearly—as this outbreak has shown the world—they’re not. Unlike China, which continues to censor data, intimidate their medical professionals, and control all aspects of their citizens’ lives, in the U.S. we provide up to date and accurate information to our citizens, empower our medical professionals, and leave critical decisions to our state and local leaders. China’s counterfeit achievements will never beat America’s authentic innovation, growth, and development.

That’s a fact China can’t cover up.