Cotton slams Chinese government's deceit over coronavirus: 'I have never trusted a Communist and I never will'

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Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., slammed the government of China Thursday, touted his new legislation aimed at returning the American pharmaceutical supply chain to the U.S., and called out what he called the Chinese Communist Party's "deception" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I have never trusted a Communist and I never will trust a Communist," Cotton told "The Story" host Martha MacCallum. "That's who runs China -- the Chinese Communist Party."

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"China doesn't deserve to be trusted," Cotton went on. "... They unleashed this pandemic on the world. In early December, they knew that there was some kind of outbreak happening with the novel coronavirus in Wuhan. If they had acted quickly, rather than lying to their own people, suppressing the whistleblowers, and lying to the world, then not only China but U.S. and other scientists and researchers and epidemiologists and other experts from around the world could have helped them contain this in Whuhan or in Hubei Province."

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"Look what we have now: A pandemic and a severe global recession. Again, because of the Chinese Communist Party's dishonesty and corruption, and incompetence."

However, Cotton warned that the fact China cannot be trusted doesn't mean the U.S. should cut off communication with the country.

"Simply because we can't trust a Communist like [Chinese President] Xi Jinping doesn't mean that we don't have to talk with him. As Ronald Reagan said when we talked to Soviet leaders, 'Trust but verify.'"