A new story breaks almost daily claiming that the COVID pandemic that turned the year 2020 AD into a dystopian lockdown was very possibly (probably, by some accounts) not an organically occurring variant that jumped from a bat to a human.
Most of us by now have heard about the lab leak theory (especially RedState readers, as we’ve covered it extensively), and have had our opinions firmly formed as to the veracity of the “naturally occurring” claim Beijing so desperately wanted the world to believe. So…what now?
Now we make China pay, you say, understandably outraged as your breathing finally regulates post-mask mandate and you wonder if your kids will be emotionally scarred for life.
But what does making China pay — should the congressional hearings and investigations that are sure to come confirm the wisdom of that path (good luck, Dr. Fauci) — look like?
There are already a few things brewing that provide some of the answer.
The House of Representatives, for example, is hoping to give individuals the right to sue Beijing directly as Fox News reported in late May.
The first bill, the “Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act,” would establish a 9/11-style bipartisan commission to investigate how the pandemic started. It is being introduced by five Democrats and five Republicans.
The second bill, dubbed the “Never Again International Outbreak Prevention Act,” calls for allowing families of coronavirus victims to sue China by stripping sovereign immunity from it and any other countries “that have intentionally misled the international community on the outbreak.” It will be introduced by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Conor Lamb, D-Pa.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who has had his early concerns about a lab leak vindicated in recent days (but they made sure to smear him good and hard as a conspiracy theorist first), spoke last year about allowing states to sue Beijing for the economic devastation left by COVID restrictions, and two states — Mississippi and Missouri — acted early to do just that.
The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, and the secretive communist government was accused of downplaying the virus and misleading the world in the early days of the pandemic — leaving other countries, including the U.S., exposed and without time to prepare.
Legal experts have warned that the cases face long odds because foreign governments are generally granted immunity from domestic suits. But that doesn’t mean the Republican states plan on giving up holding the Chinese behemoth accountable.
“Mississippi families and businesses deserve to be made whole for China’s malicious and dangerous actions,” Attorney General Lynn Fitch said in a statement this week. “The suit is currently proceeding through the judicial process, and we look forward to the opportunity to pursue justice for the people of Mississippi.”
Summonses were issued to the Chinese Communist Party and a number of Chinese ministries by a Mississippi court in December, according to WLBT, as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology — where the virus is believed to have possibly escaped.
Now Cotton — along with colleagues Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rick Scott (R-FL) — has introduced the China Trade Relations Act to “strip China of its Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status and return to the pre-2001 system.”
If passed, the legislation would require China to obtain Most Favored Nation (MFN) status through annual presidential approval, per the requirements of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. The bill would also expand the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to include human rights and trade abuses as disqualifying factors for MFN status. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Chris Smith (R-New Jersey).
“For twenty years, China has held permanent most-favored-nation status, which has supercharged the loss of American manufacturing jobs. It’s time to protect American jobs and hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their forced labor camps and egregious human rights violations,” said Cotton.
Fox News columnist Liz Peek suggests other countries — certainly as affected by the pandemic as the U.S. — could help by “isolating China diplomatically, imposing meaningful sanctions and taking a harder line against China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property, cyberattacks and human rights abuses.”
Now that the Biden administration has reportedly jumped on the lab leak theory bandwagon — albeit with the unfortunately termed “soft pressure” — perhaps retribution will come. Because those who know are warning that Beijing is at war with the U.S., whether the U.S. wants to engage in war or not.