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Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., on Thursday blasted China's monopoly on key pharmaceutical ingredients as the United States continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video posted to her Twitter account, Blackburn called China's threats to plunge the U.S. into a "mighty sea of coronavirus" by withholding access to critical medication a national security and public health issue.

"Relying on foreign countries like China for instance, for our pharmaceutical supply chain can lead us to critical shortages," she said.


In a bipartisan effort, Blackburn and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., are pushing legislation to reduce U.S. dependency abroard and increase domestic drug production.

"It's time that we ensure a steady supply of life-saving medication when it is needed by us the most," Blackburn said. "Our ability to receive these life-saving medications must not depend on the mood of the day from tyrant leaders across the globe."

Beijing recently hinted that it could deny the U.S. coronavirus drugs by imposing pharmaceutical export controls. China maintains a grip on the global supply chain. Though the United States is a global leader in research, much of the manufacturing of lifesaving drugs has moved overseas.

The global coronavirus pandemic began in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has spread across the world, killing more than 9,800 people and infecting over 242,000 others.


China has tried re-casting itself as ahead of the coronavirus curve after months of muzzled responses and silencing doctors who sounded early alarms about the illness.

Fox News' Ronn Blitzer and Barnini Chakraborty contributed to this report.