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Members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to introduce two bipartisan bills on Friday that would address the root causes of the coronavirus pandemic and allow victims’ families to sue China.
The first bill, the Made in America Emergency Preparedness Act, would set up a 9/11 style bipartisan commission to investigate how the pandemic began. It is introduced by five Democrats and five Republicans.
The second bill, dubbed the “Never Again International Outbreak Prevention Act”, allows families of coronavirus victims to sue China by exercising the sovereign immunity of China and other countries that “deliberately supported the international community in the outbreak.” have been misled “, cancel. It is presented by US representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) And Conor Lamb (D-Pa.).
“In response to this current crisis, we must never again feel unprepared and unable to protect our communities,” said a press release announcing the first bill. “We should never see nearly 600,000 American people in danger and daily life being turned upside down again.”
In addition to examining the origin of the virus, the body proposed in the first bill would also look into the US government and private sector response and establish precautionary measures for the future.
CHINA REFUSAL OF SUPPORT ACCELERATING THE ORIGINAL SAMPLE
The commission would recommend to President Biden what personal protective equipment and other goods are required to deal with a national emergency where the items must be made in the US
“We just can’t outsource our public and national security to foreign nations,” Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the non-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, said in a statement. “We need to restore our health and public safety supply chain to the US. Medical products, protective equipment, pharmaceuticals, emergency equipment, and all other critical items and materials needed to respond to a national emergency must be domestic for domestic consumption are mainly produced in a critical, time-critical crisis. ”
“We just can’t outsource our public and national security to foreign nations.”
– U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.
President Biden said this week US intelligence agencies believe the virus was triggered either through human contact with an infected wildlife or during a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China.
“I have now asked the intelligence community to redouble their efforts to gather and analyze information that could bring us closer to a final conclusion and to report back to me in 90 days,” Biden said on Wednesday.
China’s refusal to back the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origins of COVID-19 spurred the Biden administration to speed up U.S. intelligence on its origins, Fox News learned.
An administration official told Fox News that the president took the “rare step” of requesting the approval of an article from the president’s Daily Brief due to be publicly released earlier this month. Biden said he wanted to be transparent about the information that US officials so far felt was also in the public interest.
As the release of the information was underway, China announced Tuesday during a World Health Assembly meeting that it would not be participating in or assisting in a second phase of the WHO investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
China told WHO on Tuesday that the investigation into the origins of the virus was complete.
The second bill calls for China and any other country that deliberately misled the international community in the outbreak to withdraw sovereign immunity so that families of virus victims can seek reimbursement in court.
“As we saw from COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party has deliberately and maliciously misled the rest of the world about the scope and spread of the novel coronavirus,” Fitzpatrick said.
He added that other international organizations such as WHO must be held accountable for their “inaction” on the pandemic.
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“Congress must act now to ensure there are consequences for international players who behave like China at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak,” Lamb said in a statement.
The bill would also launch an investigation into the WHO’s response and require foreign nations to put in place systems to report future outbreaks.
Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.