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China's Actions in the Early Stages of COVID-19

Washington, D.C. , March 25, 2020

By mid-December, doctors in Wuhan, China knew some type of virus was spreading quickly. By late-December, “spreading quickly” became “spreading exponentially.” With a population of 11 million and more than 175,000 people traveling in & out of Wuhan daily, Chinese health scientists knew this would soon be a worldwide crisis.

Yet on January 1st the Chinese government ordered those scientists to destroy their samples and remain silent, all while accusing the heroic Dr. Li Wenliang (who would later die from COVID-19) of “spreading rumors.” It now appears their government attempted to mislead other nations and the World Health Organization about the virus for weeks, delaying the release of critical data and refusing international expertise.

It wouldn’t be until January 23rd – after millions of people had traveled from Wuhan to other parts of the globe – that Chinese authorities took the initial steps to quarantine that region. And by mid-March, as the world was facing this pandemic, China even tried to suggest it was the U.S. Army that brought COVID-19 to Wuhan.

Mistakes are possible in any crisis, but these were no ordinary mistakes by China. Therefore, yesterday I co-sponsored a resolution in the House condemning China’s actions in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. Details here:

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