WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) today spoke at a press conference with House Republican leadership to highlight his legislation - the Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable Act of 2021 - to give Americans the power to sue the Chinese government over COVID-19 damages.
"China lied and tried to cover up their role in starting and spreading this global pandemic. At best, China lied about when they knew about the virus, jailed journalists and disappeared doctors who dared to tell the truth, and failed to inform the rest of the world immediately about the pandemic," said Crenshaw. "And, at worst - even though a year ago the press smeared anyone who said this as a 'conspiracy theorist' - China did all of this because they knew the virus escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology and that they were directly responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence and commonsense strongly supports this, and we need a full investigation into the origins of the pandemic so we can get to the truth.
"But the bottom line is that China is at fault for this. People died and lives were destroyed and Americans should have the right to sue the Chinese government."
The press conference focused on the roadmap House Republicans outlined to hold China accountable for their coverup of COVID-19 and deliver transparency and justice to the American people. Crenshaw's legislation was included in this eight-pillar strategy to hold China accountable.
Crenshaw originally introduced this legislation in April 2020. This legislation is modeled after the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which 97 members of the Senate voted in favor of in 2016.
The bill makes clear that covering up the virus and causing it to spread faster or further than it otherwise would have can be considered a tortious act.
The bill gives the United States a powerful tool to get China to pay for the damage it has caused: If the United States and China come to an agreement to settle the claims, then the private suits could be dismissed. In other words, China can take responsibility and agree to pay for the damage it has caused, or it can face potentially millions of claims in federal court.
Click here for full text of the legislation.