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AG Derek Schmidt to Congress: Investigate China’s role in pandemic

Release Date: May 11, 2020

TOPEKA – (May 11, 2020) – Congress should investigate the communist Chinese government’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic to help understand how the pandemic began, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has told the leadership of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Schmidt, along with 17 other state attorneys general, on Friday sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership, including the chairmen and ranking members of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, asking for a Congressional investigation.

“Recent reports suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus while simultaneously stockpiling personal protective equipment,” the attorneys general wrote in the letter. “Congressional hearings are critical to our nation’s understanding of the origins of COVID-19 and efforts by the communist Chinese government to deceive the international community.”

The current U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has exceeded 80,000 and the pandemic’s economic devastation has caused the national unemployment rate to skyrocket to 14.7 percent from 3.5 percent lows in February. Many businesses are expected to close permanently after lockdowns ordered to slow the spread of the virus. In Kansas, the projected state budget shortfall has ballooned to more than $1 billion over the next two years.

“The spread of COVID-19 and actions taken in response are likely to spur widespread litigation,” Schmidt said. “My view is that Congress – not courts throughout the country – needs to take the lead in developing the basic factual record of what the Chinese government knew, when they knew it, and what they did with that information.”

A copy of the letter is available at https://bit.ly/3dEjBAb.

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