Congressional resolution seeks international probe of China's coronavirus handling

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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., are demanding China fork over money to nations afflicted with the novel coronavirus, arguing the Chinese Communist Party must pay for its "lies" about the early outbreak of the virus.

The pair of GOP lawmakers introduced a bicameral resolution Tuesday calling for an international investigation to quantify the harm caused by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) cover-up of the early spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The resolution also calls for the international community to design a mechanism to deliver compensation to the United States and other nations gravely hurt by China's initial decision to hide the emergence of COVID-19.

“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic," Hawley said in a statement. "The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent. It is time for an international investigation into the role their cover-up played in the spread of this devastating pandemic. The CCP must be held to account for what the world is now suffering.”

Their resolution's wording condemns the Chinese government for recently arguing that COVID–19 did not originate in China and for alleging "that the United States Army may have delivered COVID–19 to the city of Wuhan."

Stefanik said there's no doubt China "knowingly withheld critical information needed to combat the spread of the Chinese-born COVID-19 and to this day continues to spread lies and disinformation on the origin of the deadly virus."

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been going after China. Earlier Tuesday, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., introduced a bipartisan resolution to condemn the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, painting a stark picture of lies and mismanagement contributing to the pandemic that has infected nearly 390,000 people worldwide and killed more than 16,700.

BIPARTISAN HOUSE RESOLUTION CONDEMNS CHINESE GOVERNMENT OVER HANDLING OF CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

This resolution comes as tensions between the U.S. and China are running high over the Chinese government's high-powered propaganda campaign seeking to paint itself as the global coronavirus savior while several U.S. officials and politicians, including President Trump, have taken to calling the coronavirus the "Chinese virus" in reference to its origins in Wuhan, a city in China.

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"Simply put — China must, and will, be held accountable,” Stefanik said.

It's unclear when either resolution would get a vote in the House or Senate.

Fox News' Tyler Olson contributed to this report.