Republican Sen. Josh Hawley warned Chinese President Xi Jinping his “time is up” and “time to come clean” in a brutal letter following his bill to declassify what America’s intelligence agencies knew about the origins of COVID-19.
Hawley’s bill already had received unanimous support this week before clearing the House on Friday.
The news came after the Energy Department admitted the virus likely leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, an opinion also shared by the FBI.
When President Joe Biden was asked if he would sign the bill, he said, “I haven’t made that decision yet.”
Hawley tweeted a copy of the letter to update President Xi Jinping on the passage.
“China has been so worked up about this COVID origins bill, Communist officials wrote to my office earlier this week and demanded I drop it. I thought I’d update President Xi on today’s passage,” Hawley tweeted.
After Hawley warned Xi that the bill secured final passage, the letter said, “I know you are keenly interested in this bill—your own Communist officials have written to my office demanding we renounce it, in their usual lecturing, idiotic style.
“But the bill will soon be law—unless you can convince President Biden to veto it. Time is up. Come clean about your role in spreading COVID to the world.”
This week, China sent a letter to Hawley blasting his proposal to declassify all documents related to the virus’s origins.
“I am reaching out to express our grave concern regarding the ‘Covid-19 Origin Act of 2023’ (S.619), which falsely claimed that the Covid-19 corona virus originated from Wuhan Institute of Virology, accuses China of blocking international investigations, refusing to share information and lacking transparency etc. and required the Director of National Intelligence to declassify information relating to the origin of COVID–19. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this,” the letter to Hawley said.
“The move by the US congress just shows that the US is going further and further down the wrong path of political manipulation. The so-called traceability report by the US intelligence agency is an attempt to ‘presume guilt’ on China. It is an attempt to shift the blame from its own failure to fight the epidemic to China,” the letter added.
“Such a move by the US will only cause disruption and damage to international cooperation in tracing the source of the virus and fighting against it,” it continued.
Hawley said the angered response from China meant they were over the target.
“When China is this upset about a proposal, you know you’re on the right track. The American people deserve to know the truth about the origins of COVID, and China must be held accountable,” he said.
Ohio Republican Rep. Michael Turner stressed the passage of the bill was crucial.
“The American public deserves answers to every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, including “how this virus was created and, specifically, whether it was a natural occurrence or was the result of a lab-related event.”