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Toomey: Hold Accountable Those Who Lied, Silenced Doctors in China

May 5, 2020

Allentown, Pa. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is cosponsoring legislation to hold foreign officials accountable for distorting or suppressing information about international public health crises.

The Li Wenliang Global Public Health Accountability Act is named for the whistleblower Chinese doctor who was targeted and punished by Chinese Communist Party officials for warning his medical colleagues about the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19. Dr. Li eventually succumbed to the virus himself. The legislation authorizes sanctions on foreign officials involved in the "deliberate" concealment or distortion of information about a "public health emergency of international concern," including COVID-19. Sanctions would include visa bans and domestic asset freezes.

"The Chinese Communist Party should have responded to the outbreak of COVID-19 with transparency. Instead, the CCP has consistently lied, spread disinformation, and withheld important facts and data about COVID-19, contributing to the virus's spread and severity," said Senator Toomey. "This sanctions bill would allow the United States to hold accountable members of the CCP who deliberately lied and silenced doctors on the ground in Wuhan."

Senator Toomey is joining Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) in introducing the Li Wenliang Global Public Health Accountability Act. The text of the bill is available here.