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English/Español: Rubio Introduces Bill to Sanction Beijing for Continued Obstruction of COVID Origins Investigation

Jan 11, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Rick Scott (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Coronavirus Origin Validation, Investigation, and Determination (COVID) Act of 2022. The bill would authorize sanctions if, 90 days after enactment, the Chinese Communist Party fails to allow for a credible and comprehensive international investigation into the origins of COVID-19 at laboratories in Wuhan that engaged in risky research involving bat coronaviruses. Specifically, the bill would sanction the leadership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and its affiliated institutes and laboratories, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The COVID Act would also suspend federal research funding across all academic fields for studies that involve the CAS, and impose a prohibition on gain-of-function virus research cooperation between any individual or institution based in the United States that receives federal funding and any PRC-based individual or institution. 
This legislation builds on Rubio’s COVID Act of 2021 by adding further sanctions on Chinese officials who were involved in concealing the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in China from the international community, restricting the release of information related to the outbreak, understating the severity of the outbreak, and obstructing an international investigation into the origin of the outbreak. 
Rubio previewed the legislation in a Washington Examiner op-ed, stating “this bill is good governance and commonsense.” 
“For two years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has stonewalled all efforts to uncover the true origins of COVID-19,” Rubio said. “We know the virus originated in China, however, the CCP’s attempts to obfuscate the truth has led to countless deaths and needless suffering worldwide. It is clear that Beijing will only respond to concerted pressure from the United States and the international community. My bill will force the CCP to the table.” 
“Again and again, General Secretary Xi and his underlings in the Chinese Communist Party have blocked attempts to find the truth by lying about COVID’s transmission, censoring doctors and shifting blame,” R. Scott said. “It’s time for Communist China to come clean and answer for its lies and cover-up on the origins of COVID-19. I’m proud to join Senator Rubio and our colleagues in leading this important bill to hold Communist China accountable.”
“Congress should not have to threaten sanctions to get transparency from the Chinese Communist Party on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cramer said. “This bill will finally provide answers the American people and the world deserve.” 
“China lied and Americans died,” Daines said. “We must hold China accountable for their role in the COVID-19 pandemic and conduct a thorough, credible investigation into the origins of COVID-19.”
“COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 800,000 people in the United States so far. Families who’ve lost loved ones to this devastating virus deserve answers – especially if the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for either unleashing this virus or covering it up,” Grassley said. “Our bill requires an investigation into COVID-19’s origins and holds China accountable by sanctioning those who’ve stonewalled independent investigations. We ought to make sure there are harsh consequences for any individual or organization that played a part in starting or perpetuating this pandemic.” 
“Americans rightly want to know the origins of the virus that has impacted every family in America one way or another,” Lankford said. “My Republican colleagues and I are leading the effort to push for a real investigation in China to discover the actual origins of the COVID-19 virus. We will impose sanctions on anyone who tries to obstruct those investigations.” 
“The CCP lied about COVID-19, hiding their case numbers from the rest of the world,” Sasse said. “Two years into the pandemic we’re still looking for answers. After years of suffering, the American people deserve truth.” 
“The Chinese Communist Party’s inexcusable roadblocks to legitimate scientific investigations of the coronavirus deserve a strong response by the United States and other world leaders,” Hyde-Smith said. “The sanctions outlined in this legislation could finally prompt the CCP to help us understand the origins of a health pandemic that started in China and that continues its global rampage today.” 

“The Chinese Communist Party’s deception on COVID origins has come at the expense of American lives,” Blackburn said. “In no way should the United States enable or encourage the dangerous and deceptive practices of these Chinese-state labs, and this legislation will expand on our existing work by formally levying long overdue sanctions against the Chinese Academy of Sciences.” 

“The United States must lead the world in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for repeatedly blocking international investigations into origins of the COVID-19 virus that first appeared in Wuhan,” Hagerty said. “The CCP’s stonewalling on these inquiries poses a threat to the national security, economic security, and the public health of the United States, our allies, and other nations. The Americans whose lives and livelihoods suffered due to the pandemic deserve the unvarnished truth about the pandemic’s origins.”
“Two years into this pandemic, China is still gaslighting the world about the origin of the coronavirus and the Communist Party’s role in covering it up,” Kennedy said. “We must pursue the truth with strength. That’s what Beijing understands, that’s the clear-eyed leadership America needs, and that’s what this bill does.”



Washington, D.C. — El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL), junto a los senadores Tim Scott (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), Rick Scott (R-FL), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Braun (R-IN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) y John Kennedy (R-LA) presentaron la Ley COVID del 2022. Este es un proyecto de ley que autoriza sanciones si, tras 90 días después de la promulgación de la legislación, el Partido Comunista Chino (PCCh) no permite una investigación internacional creíble y exhaustiva sobre los orígenes del COVID-19 en los laboratorios en Wuhan. Específicamente, el proyecto de ley sancionaría al liderazgo de la Academia China de Ciencias (CAS) al igual que a sus institutos y laboratorios afiliados, incluido el Instituto de Virología de Wuhan. La legislación de Rubio también suspendería la financiación de investigaciones federales en todos los campos académicos para estudios que involucren al CAS, e impondría una prohibición a la cooperación en la investigación de virus entre cualquier individuo o institución con sede en EE.UU. que reciba financiación federal o sea una institución del PCCh.
Esta legislación se basa en la Ley COVID del 2021, de autoría de Rubio, y agrega más sanciones a los funcionarios chinos que estuvieron involucrados en ocultar el brote inicial del COVID-19 en China ante la comunidad internacional, restringiendo la divulgación de información relacionada con el brote, subestimando la gravedad del brote, y obstruyendo una investigación internacional sobre el origen del brote.
Rubio recalcó la legislación en una columna de opinión del Washington Examiner, “este proyecto de ley es una legislación racional y que tiene lógica”.
“Por dos años, el Partido Comunista Chino (PCCh) ha obstruido todos los esfuerzos para descubrir los verdaderos orígenes del COVID-19”, Rubio dijo. “Sabemos que el virus se originó en China, sin embargo, los intentos del PCCh de ofuscar la verdad han provocado innumerables muertes y sufrimiento innecesario en todo el mundo. Está claro que Pekín sólo responderá a la presión conjunta de EE.UU y la comunidad internacional. Mi proyecto de ley obligará al PCCh a sentarse a la mesa”.