Washington’s Bipartisan Push to Make China Pay for Coronavirus Costs

In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson on Monday night, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Indiana) said that there were lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington eager to make China pay a financial penalty for their failure to contain the coronavirus. While we’re sure that some Democrats are still so married to political correctness that they’ll call this effort “racist,” it is an entirely reasonable and common-sense approach to the issue.

Fact is, if the Chinese government hadn’t spent the opening months of the Wuhan virus covering it up, Italy wouldn’t be going through one of the biggest nightmares in modern history. We wouldn’t be seeing the United States go into near-total lockdown in some of our biggest cities. We wouldn’t see the stock market plunging like it’s 1929.

China has been trying to pat itself on the back for its “victory” in clamping down on this disease. In reality, both its origination and its spread is owed directly to their terrible leadership.

“I’ve heard from colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are ready to engage in the same fight that I’ve been fighting now for several months, to hold China accountable for their bad behavior,” Banks said. “We need to start by forcing China to pay the burden and the cost incurred on the United States of America due to the coronavirus. I think there are many ways that we could do that.

“The president could force China to relieve a great amount of American debt,” Banks continued. “He could institute tariffs on China and designate the funds from that into a coronavirus victim relief fund to pay the cost incurred on Americans and American taxpayers due to the negligence on China’s behalf that’s led to the crisis in America today.”

When asked by Carlson if the Trump administration would go through with this demand, Banks was optimistic.

“I hope so,” he said. “President Trump has shown enormous strength and effort so far in the trade deal. When we talk about future trade deals, there’s an opportunity, an avenue and, I believe, an appetite to go after China to make them pay even further costs. So I hope that would be the case. But I have no doubt that President Trump will do everything that he can to hold China accountable for what they have caused Americans today.”

In addition to holding China to account for what they’ve done to the United States and the entire globe, it’s also going to be time for a serious reckoning when all this is over. This coronavirus pandemic has exposed how dangerous it is for us to rely on China for the manufacture of our pharmaceuticals and other essential health care supplies. This needs to be addressed in a serious way once we’re on the other side of this pandemic. It’s a national security risk, and it’s an unnecessary one at that.

China has proven, beyond doubt, that it cannot be trusted as an economic partner in the world.

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