Devin Nunes not letting China off the hook for downplaying coronavirus

Rep. Devin Nunes blasted China for its “inefficient” response to the coronavirus pandemic

The California Republican contended in an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that the “communist dictatorship downplayed” the outbreak of the virus.

(Source: Fox News)

After urging Americans to “stop panicking” and take sensible precautions, Nunes accused China of a cover up as they “downplayed” the beginning stages of the outbreak which originated in the city of Wuhan.

“Why is it that so many of these diseases, these sicknesses, originate in China?” host Maria Bartiromo asked on Sunday’s program, referring to past outbreaks such as SARS in 2002,  the Avian flu in 2017 and the Influenza A virus in 2013. as well as the Asian Flu in 1956 which killed between one and four million people worldwide.

Nunes explained that he and other Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have been looking at China for years and are now “building legislation” that is based on the investigations that were conducted.

“They’re inefficient. They have people that are under authoritarian control,” he said, reiterating that the country is under Communist rule and pointing to the whistleblower doctor who died of the disease.

“Think about it, the doctor that actually was the whistleblower on this ended up dead,” the congressman said.

Dr. Li Wenliang died of COVID-19 on Feb. 7 after he sounded the alarm on the virus back in December. Dr. Mei Zhongming, a 57-year-old colleague of Wenliang, who was 34, died about a month later.

“If you look back to what the Chinese did, they probably had this in the late fall, especially early winter, instead of like calling people in and learning how to help and develop a way for us to know how to treat this, they downplayed it,” Nunes said.

U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien argued that the Chinese government created a delay in the response to combating the virus because of its inaction, escalating what has already been a heated war of words between the U.S. and China.

“This virus did not originate in the United States. It originated in the Wuhan, in the Hubei province in China,” O’Brien said at an event at The Heritage Foundation last week. “It originated some time ago. Unfortunately, rather than using best practices, this outbreak in Wuhan was covered up.”

“There’s lots of open-source reporting from China, from Chinese nationals, that the doctors involved were either silenced or put in isolation or that sort of thing, so that the word of this virus could not get out,” O’Brien said.

“I think we could have dramatically curtailed what happened, both in China and what’s now happening across the world,” O’Brien added. “In a way that this started out in China, the way it was handled from the outset was not right.”

O’Brien’s remarks came as the Chinese government denied the disease originated in Wuhan, pushing a conspiracy theory that it was brought to the country by the U.S. military.

The Chinese government’s pushback of references to the illness as the “Chinese virus” or the “Wuhan virus” has been abetted by the liberal media in the U.S. which referred to COVID-19 as the “Wuhan virus,” the “Wuhan coronavirus,” or the “Chinese coronavirus” for weeks before deciding the descriptions are racist dog whistles being used by Republicans.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed China for putting the U.S. “behind the curve” in the response to the coronavirus.

“Remember, this is the Wuhan coronavirus that’s caused this, and the information that we got at the front end of this thing wasn’t perfect and has led us now to a place where much of the challenge we face today has put us behind the curve,” he told CNBC on Friday.


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