Lawmakers call for US to hold China accountable for role in spread of virus

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Calls are growing louder from both parties to hold China accountable for its role in the spread of the coronavirus. 

 To better prepare for future pandemics, lawmakers say the US must put more pressure on China.

“We need to hold China accountable for their lack of transparency,” said Congressman Ro Khanna, D-Calif. 

Rep. Khanna says Beijing’s refusal to allow international health inspectors into Wuhan slowed the global response to COVID-19. 

“We need to make better international norms so that kind of irresponsible behavior doesn’t happen again,” he said. 

Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-Calif., says China should contribute more to fund the World Health Organization. 

“The W-H-O should have absolute authority to move into a country when there’s an outbreak,” she said. 

Rep. Speier also says the US response should be more than just rhetoric.

“A rebuke or condemnation seems like words and nothing more. Their actions are reprehensible,” the Congresswoman said. 

House Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy say China should be accountable financially. That means possible sanctions, and cutting American dependence on Chinese manufacturing.

“They should have to pay for the damage they’ve done for the world,” said Rep. McCarthy, R-Calif. “Many businesses have lost their hopes, their dreams. We should hold them financially accountable.”

Congressman Doug Lamalfa, R-Calif., says American consumers have a role to play. 

“I think you’re going to see a bigger push to buy American made and American grown,” Rep. Lamalfa said. 

He also said any measures Congress takes toward China should be cautious. 

“We still need to be somewhat diplomatic and play it smart because they have leverage over us unfortunately,” he explains. 

President Trump hinted there may be consequences for China but hasn’t said what they’ll be.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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