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Graham at Hearing on Addressing Coronavirus, China’s Culpability

“The entire world needs to send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that enough is enough.”

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made an opening statement at a Committee hearing titled, “The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Coronavirus, and Addressing China’s Culpability”.

On Holding China Accountable

  • GRAHAM: “[In the United States,] over 120,000 people have died, 40 million people have lost their job, and it's been a nightmare for our country and the world at large. We've used the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in the past, amended it in the past, to go after people who have done harm to Americans and represent a threat to our way of life. I think the Chinese Communist Party, given their behavior over a long period of time, we should consider whether or not new tools are necessary to change behavior that is so devastating and deadly.”
  • GRAHAM: “I cannot think of a more compelling idea than to allow individual Americans or groups of Americans to bring lawsuits against a culprit, the Chinese government, for the damage done to their family, to our economy and to the psyche of the nation. The entire world feels played by China. The entire world needs to send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that enough is enough.”

On China’s Role in the Coronavirus Pandemic

  • GRAHAM: “This is the third pandemic to come out of China. The coronavirus came from Hunan Province. Whether it was a mistake in a lab or spread at a wet market, I don't know. But we do know where it came from.”
  • GRAHAM: “We also know that China failed to inform the world about the nature of the virus. That they restricted travel into China, but allowed Chinese citizens to travel throughout the world. They knew it was [spread by] human-to-human transmission. And they failed to adequately inform the WHO, in my view, and the world at large. The bottom line is the wet markets in China have been a breeding ground for pandemics. And Americans are asking the question: what will it take to make China change? At what point in time do we need to put on the table new ideas to stop a reoccurring event: pandemics coming from China. Given the willfulness, the deceit, and the hard-heartedness, for lack of a better word, regarding the Chinese Communist Party's handling of the coronavirus, I think now the time has come for us to put on the table new tools to deal with an old problem.”

Click to watch Graham’s full opening statement