Rep. Horn Introduces Legislation to Combat Chinese Government Efforts to Exploit the COVID-19 Pandemic
Rep. Horn leads coalition of Blue Dog members on national security bill
Washington, July 2, 2020
WASHINGTON—Today, Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-5) led a coalition of lawmakers to introduce legislation requiring the U.S. government to identify, analyze, and combat efforts by the Chinese government to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation is endorsed by and includes cosponsors from the Blue Dog Coalition, which focuses on issues related to fiscal responsibility and national security.
The legislation, called the Preventing China from Exploiting COVID-19 Act, requires the Director of National Intelligence—in coordination with the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Homeland Security—to prepare an assessment of the different ways in which the Chinese government has exploited or could exploit the pandemic, which originated in China, in order to advance China’s interests and to undermine the interests of the United States, its allies, and the rules-based international order. The assessment must be provided to Congress within 90 days and posted in unclassified form on the DNI’s website.
“No one should seek to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for political or economic advantage,” said Congresswoman Kendra Horn, Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “We must examine whether the Chinese Communist Party has used intellectual cyber-theft, misinformation campaigns, and aggressive territorial maneuvers, among other tactics to take advantage of the pandemic. We need to get to the bottom of where the Chinese government has exploited COVID-19 and undermined our fight against the global pandemic. Where they’ve crossed the line, they must be held accountable.”
“Bipartisan concerns in Congress about Chinese government policies have only increased once COVID-19 emerged in China and spread to virtually every country in the world. Since the start of this pandemic, we have witnessed a pattern of alarming behavior from the Chinese government in a range of areas,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chair for Administration. “This bill would provide U.S. policymakers with an intelligence community assessment of the different ways the Chinese government may be seeking to exploit the pandemic. Armed with this information, we can hold the Chinese government accountable and protect American interests.”
“From the opioid epidemic, to trade, to our intellectual property, China has a long history of trying to rip off America,” said Rep. Max Rose (NY-11), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “Why should we think the coronavirus pandemic would be any different? It’s not a question of if, but how China is going to use this crisis to its advantage—and we need to be working to prevent that.”
The Preventing China from Exploiting COVID-19 Act requires the DNI report to examine the following topics, among others:
In addition to Horn, Murphy, and Rose, the bill is supported by the following Blue Dogs: Reps. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Ed Case (HI-01), Ben McAdams (UT-04), Luis Correa (CA-46), Jared Golden (ME-02), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22), Charlie Crist (FL-13), and Joe Cunningham (SC-01).