A group of Republican state attorneys general sent a letter to House and Senate leaders demanding hearings into how China’s misinformation helped spread the coronavirus across the globe.
“These layers of deceit began last year with the censoring of Chinese health officials and the muzzling of Taiwanese complaints,” the 18 attorneys general wrote. “The cover-up continued with the expulsion of media outlets and the proliferation of Chinese propaganda targeting the Western world.”
The letter, dated May 9, was released publicly Monday and blames Chinese propaganda for “tens of thousands” of deaths and “millions” of job losses in the United States caused by the coronavirus.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is leading the effort to hold open hearings on China, saying lawmakers must hold the country responsible.
“Congressional hearings are critical to our nation’s understanding of the origins of COVID-19 and the efforts by the communist Chinese government to deceive the international community,” he wrote.
State attorneys general have been actively pressing lawmakers and the Trump administration to strike back at China for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Missouri’s attorney general has already filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Chinese government, accusing the country of covering information and doing little to stop the virus’s spread.
The lawsuit alleges China’s actions caused “a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.”