In a Fox Business interview, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted China and its leaders for trying to hold the U.S. captive by threatening to withhold essential medications and supplies manufactured there amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Washington Examiner.
“The Chinese government has explicitly threatened…cutting off life-saving medicines to America as a tool of economic warfare,” Cruz said.
Cruz was referencing efforts on the part of China to trying to cripple the broader U.S. pharmaceutical industry at a critical time of need.
Cruz: China still lying about virus
The senator from Texas also accused Chinese authorities of lying about the coronavirus early on in its spread, something which impacted and even hindered the U.S. response. China initially claimed that the virus could not be transmitted in person-to-person fashion, and suspected underreporting of cases and deaths hampered the ability of public health officials in the U.S. to predict and prepare for how large the outbreak might ultimately be.
“This pandemic began in China, began in Wuhan, China, and the decisions of the Chinese government played a critical part … in causing the pandemic to be as bad as it is,” Cruz said, according to Washington Examiner. “They did everything they could to hide the public health crisis that was spreading right in front of them.”
Cruz pointed out that Chinese authorities punished doctors in their own country who tried to sound the alarm internationally about the true threat posed by the virus.
Reports suggest that China is likely still lying about the status of new cases within its borders. After new cases in China were said to have dropped dramatically, new reports emerged indicating that authorities there had stopped testing patients displaying symptoms of infection and simply refused to treat them in order to paint a more positive statistical picture.
Greatest threat to the world
Cruz argued that China’s actions in this and other critical realms make it the greatest current threat faced by the U.S.
“The single greatest geopolitical threat to the United States in the next century is China,” Cruz said, according to the Examiner. “China is expanding its economic might, it’s blackballing its neighbors, it’s stealing intellectual property, it’s building up its military.”
China recently tried to blame the U.S. military for spreading COVID-19 in Asia before it made its way to other parts of the world, a theory quickly shot down by President Donald Trump. In fact, the president frequently referred to the illness as the “Chinese virus” in order to emphasize its true geographic origin, but he stopped that practice in response to critics who claimed that the label was racist and xenophobic.
A Rasmussen poll from March 17 showed that 42% of respondents believe China should pay some of the massive costs incurred in the U.S. as a result of the coronavirus simply because the illness originated there and because the Chinese government hid vital information about it from the earliest stages of the outbreak.
While it may be convenient and perhaps justifiable to blame China for the pandemic, and there is no doubt that its government should be held responsible for its part in the spread of the pandemic, the bigger issue that must addressed is our nation’s dangerous dependence on China for a whole host of essential consumer, medical and scientific products.