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Carl: Holding China accountable for COVID-19

Like many of you, I have lost several friends to COVID-19, and I know of countless others who fell seriously ill, lost their job or lost their business because of the virus. Unfortunately, virtually everybody in the United States and across the globe has been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

From the earliest days of this virus spreading across the globe, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has actively and purposely deceived the entire world about the origins of the virus. As we learn more about the CCP’s role in the spread of the virus, it becomes increasingly clear that most of the losses we have all seen and suffered through could have been avoided if the CCP had been truthful with the world. The University of Southampton conducted a study and found if China had been truthful about the virus and had taken early steps to stop the spread, infections could have been reduced by up to 95%. They failed to be honest and transparent, and as a result, many millions have died and countless others have had their livelihood jeopardized.

We cannot allow China to get away with this, and we must work together in a bipartisan way to seek the truth and hold China accountable for this deadly pandemic. Recently, I was proud to join more than 200 of my Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker Pelosi demanding that she allow a congressional investigation into the origins of the virus. While this is a good first step, we still have a lot of work to do.

House Republicans have come up with a plan to find out the truth and hold China accountable. This plan outlines a number of basic steps, including declassifying all intelligence related to the origins of COVID-19, prohibiting our taxpayer dollars from funding any gain of function research done in China, prohibiting the National Institutes of Health from funding foreign governments who intend to harm the United States or our allies, completely overhauling the World Health Organization, sanctioning any organization or regime associated with the CCP or the coverup of COVID-19, giving families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 the opportunity to sue the Chinese government for damages, and stopping Beijing from hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Too many lives have been lost, too many businesses have been shuttered, and too many lives have been permanently changed because of this horrible virus. Now is the time to hold China accountable, and I’m committed to doing all I can to make sure this happens. We must find out the truth of the CCP’s role in the origins and spread of the virus, and we have to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.