- The Washington Times
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Rep. Liz Cheney said today that China made a strategic decision to spread the coronavirus to make sure the world, not just Beijing, suffered economic hardship.

The Wyoming Republican said on “Fox and Friends” that China cannot be “a member of civilized community of nations because of what they’ve done.”

The evidence, she said, is that China realized it had an epidemic on its hands in the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province and responded by restricting domestic travel. But the ruling communist party continued to let Wuhan-area citizens fly internationally to the U.S. and Europe, the first regions to be hit hard by the COVID-19 disease which has killed over 285,000 people.

China has issued no apologies and gone on the attack via its global propaganda machine. Chinese social media blames the U.S. for planting the virus and mocks President Trump’s response.

Ms. Cheney, the third ranking House Republican, struck a theme increasingly gaining acceptance in the GOP to explain why China deceptively told the world in mid-January the disease was not transmitted person-to-person when it knew the virus was contagious. President Trump has suggested China let the germ spread globally.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and other party members in Congress have mostly refrained from criticizing the Chinese Communist Party. They funnel blame on to Mr. Trump for not stopping the pandemic.

Ms. Cheney issued a general indictment of China, not just for the virus, but for its long history of being at war with the U.S. As part of statecraft, Chinese military units hack into U.S. companies and computer data bases to steal intellectual property and millions of personal identities.

The Trump Justice Department has indicted Huawei, China’s communications conglomerate, for alleged criminal activity. It is also is investigating China’s practice of infiltrating college campuses to steal U.S. scientific knowhow.

“Look I think there’s no question the Chinese Community Party, the Chinese government, [are] absolutely directly responsible for this pandemic, for the death, for the economic devastation that we’re seeing,” Ms. Cheney said. “I think they clearly decided at some point when they knew they had human-to-human transmission in Wuhan, they understood that the economic devastation was going to be huge and I think they believed they would rather have that spread around the globe than simply something they suffered from.

“So we watched them stop travel from Wuhan into the rest of China. But then let the travel continue around the world. There’s no question they caused this virus to be spread. They have to be held accountable. And I think given their role in the world, the extent to which they clearly cannot continue to be a member of civilized community of nations because of what they’ve done, because of the lies.

“It’s something that we’ve got to take a very close look at. And I think you’re going to see across-the-board steps both to make sure we remove our supply chains, steps to insure that they do not have a seat at the table that they have had in the past, steps to insure that we educate the American people so they understand the vast array of steps the government of China has been taking for so many years now to really try to defeat us.

“And we’ve got to make sure that we’re defending ourselves and that the United States leads the Free World. That the world has got to live by rules set by countries that believe in freedom, not set by the communist Chinese Party.”

• Rowan Scarborough can be reached at rscarborough@washingtontimes.com.

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