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Hanes wants to “make China “pay” for COVID-19 crisis

State Rep. Tommy Hanes, R-Bryant, joined a growing movement of Americans angry with China as the death toll continues to mount from the coronavirus global pandemic both in this country and abroad.

Rep. Hanes has written a letter to Alabama’s Congressional Delegation urging them to support of the “Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable for Infecting Americans Act of 2020’’ introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas).

If passed, the legislation would allow Americans who were affected by COVID-19 to sue the Communist Party of China in federal court for damages caused by the deadly virus. This would include the families of the Americans who died from the virus, who themselves were ill, as well as American businesses and their employees who lost weeks and months of revenue due to the forced economic shutdown implemented to attempt to contain the virus.

Hanes claims that there is mounting evidence indicating that the Chinese misled their people as well as the global community about the origins of the coronavirus and withheld crucial information that could have potentially prevented the global spread of the virus.

“The death, illness and economic hardship the citizens of the State of Alabama have endured due to COVID-19 stems directly from the Communist Party of China’s deceit regarding the virus,” Hanes wrote. “China’s negligence and withholding of vital information about the Wuhan Virus has directly resulted in widespread pain and suffering across our great state.”

“It is because of this underlying truth that I am asking you to cosponsor and vote for the passage of the “Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable for Infecting Americans Act of 2020’’, Hanes wrote. “This legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Dan Crenshaw would allow Alabamians to seek damages against the communist regime for the anguish their corruption has caused.”

“It’s time.]to hold China accountable and make them pay for the agony this virus has placed upon our people,” Hanes added. “The people of the great State of Alabama deserve restitution and this bill would allow them obtain it. On behalf of all Alabamians who have experienced immense tribulation due to the Wuhan Virus, I ask you to support the passage of
this bill.”

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Hanes is not alone in his view. Trump national finance committee member former State Representative Perry O. Hooper Jr. (R-Montgomery)also released a statement supporting Crenshaw and Cotton’s legislation.

“China must be held accountable for the damages caused by Covid-19 not only in the court of public opinion but in actual courts of law. The entire House and Senate must get behind companion bills introduced by Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Their
bills would create a very narrow exception to allow Americans to sue in Federal Court for damages caused by China’s reckless handling of the corona virus.

“By silencing doctors and journalists who tried to warn the world about the coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party allowed the virus to spread quickly around the globe,” Cotton (R-Ark.) said in a statement. “Their decision to cover up the virus led to thousands of needless deaths and untold economic harm. It’s only appropriate that we hold the Chinese government accountable for the damage it has caused,”

“The communist regime expelled journalists, silenced whistleblowers, and withheld vital information that delayed the global response to the pandemic,” Rep. Crenshaw claimed. “Simply put: their actions cost American lives and livelihoods. This bill will help ensure China’s actions are not without consequences.”

Recent reporting by the Washington Post and Associated Press have called into question the official Chinese timeline as well as the theory that the virus jumped from bats to humans due to a Chinese citizen undercooking a bat he purchased as a fresh meat market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Recent reporting claim that the release of the virus was due to sloppy safety protocols at a laboratory in Wuhan City investigating bat coronaviruses. This evidence is largely circumstantial.

Recent intelligence reports do suggest that China understated the problems with COVID-19 they were experiencing in Wuhan City, which was locked down by Chinese authorities from January until last week.

(Original reporting by the New York Post contributed to this report.)

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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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