- - Monday, April 27, 2020

We’re living through one of the most significant events of our lifetime, but many have yet to realize it. 

The COVID-19 pandemic that has now staggered the world — originally characterized as occurring “spontaneously” in the Huanan Seafood Market — likely was created in a Pathogen/Protection Level 4 (highest containment level) lab in China that sought what’s known as a “gain of function;” the creation of an animal virus that attacks humans. And now it’s here — forever. Why someone would seek to do this has many answers, albeit few good ones — especially in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  

Whether COVID-19 was introduced to the world by mistake or by design has yet to be determined. We may never prove it entirely, but we do know this: Top Chinese virology expert Shi Zhengli, widely known for her research in bat-related coronaviruses, worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and published numerous reports on animal viruses that can attack humans. According to Georgetown epidemiologist Daniel Lucey, the first case of “Wuhan Virus” occurred in November 2019; yet the CCP didn’t officially acknowledge the outbreak until Jan. 20, 2020 — at least six weeks later.

Even though CCP officials lied — having us believe that all cases originated at the Huanan Market — a third of the original cases somehow were contracted without any connection to the market. But while The Lancet medical journal was questioning the “wet market-bat theory” (and by the way, bats weren’t sold there), and while the Wuhan province was being locked down, virology expert Zhengli announced that the genome sequence of the virus had occurred “naturally.”

At the onset of the outbreak, CCP officials: Required existing virus samples to be destroyed; prohibited their own experts from releasing any information; prohibited international experts from participating in the investigation and slandered their own doctors. Li. Wengliang, who attempted to sound the alarm, is now dead from COVID-19. 

By the beginning of February 2020, Chen Wei — China’s top military bioweapons expert — officially assumed control of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and Huang Kunming — China’s chief propaganda director — was leading damage control and propagating an aggressive disinformation campaign that a willing media obediently distributed. I could continue, but you get the point.

The CCP knew the virus was infecting the people in the communities surrounding the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and not only allowed it to infect the rest of the world, but then lied about it, tried to cover it up, and even attempted to blame it on America; i.e., that it was “our” disease, spread by U.S. service members visiting the Wuhan region in October 2019 for the Military World Games, thus infecting the local population. (Nice try, but none of the roughly 300 service members or staff tested positive for COVID-19.) Anywhere else, these actions are considered crimes — the least of which are negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter.

What do you do when you realize you’ve been living with someone that’s attempting to destroy you? Because that’s exactly what’s happening right now. Realizing — worse yet, accepting — that the partner with whom you’ve had such a close relationship actually is an enemy is difficult economically, and almost impossible psychologically. 

Since 1999 — when Cols. Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui published “Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America” — the United States has been under constant economic and financial attack. Now we’re enduring a biological attack. Not unlike 9/11, it has changed the way we’ll see and do things for the rest of our lives.  

What we do about it will determine whether we long endure — or survive at all — as a nation and culture. Make no mistake: Our adversaries see how easy it’s been to bring the “lone superpower” to its knees. They’re all watching. 

As with any crime, to include mass homicide, someone or something is responsible, and there must be an accounting. In this case, it’s the Chinese Communist Party. Without wasting one more moment, there must be a robust and relentless investigation, which cannot include China apologists and enablers like the World Health Organization or the World Bank or American social media companies.

If those determined responsible can’t or won’t be tried in international courts, they must be tried in American courts. There must be justice; for all who have lost their lives to China’s recklessness at best, or for China’s active and willful disregard for life at worst. We went to war in Afghanistan for a fraction of the lives those terrorists took from us.   

It’s long overdue that we hold China responsible for its destabilizing and pugilistic actions. A good start would be repaying us for the billions of dollars in sovereign debt on which China has defaulted since World War II. That could certainly serve as the down payment on what arguably will be trillions of dollars in pandemic damages directly caused by the Chinese Communist Party, and we need to collect all of it.  

Regarding the Chinese Communists, America must become much more proprietary with our vital enterprises — manufacturing, technology, supply chain, medical, communications, agricultural, military, space and education. The wide-open door that ignores the consistent and continued crimes of the Chinese government must be closed. Absolutely no more tacit support for its “Thousand Talents Program,” “Confucius Institutes” and, most of all, access to the most consequential financial markets on the planet.

Collectively and individually, Americans must place our nation’s welfare over profits and cheap products emanating from a government that’s guilty of countless crimes against humanity — to include concentration camps, forced organ harvesting and gross human rights violations, not to mention its active strategy to defeat and dominate the United States. We must recognize, understand and defend against the enemy inside our gates — before there’s nothing left to defend.  

• Scott Perry, a U.S. representative for Pennsylvania, formerly served on the Homeland Security Committee and presently serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee. He is a combat veteran, former Army aviator and retired brigadier general.

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