Gavin Rollins Vows to Make China Pay for Coronavirus

There should be consequences, says the congressional candidate.

Keystone Heights, Fla., May 21, 2020 – Gavin Rollins, Republican candidate to replace Ted Yoho in Florida’s third congressional district, today said if China was knowingly responsible for the coronavirus there should be severe consequences.

“Many experts in the U.S. intelligence community believe the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab, not from eating bats or other exotic animals,” said Rollins. “Whether it was due to negligence or malice China must pay if it is proven they were responsible. I will strongly support President Trump if he seeks retribution.”

According to news reports information has emerged that a low-security Wuhan virology lab that analyzed dangerous coronaviruses may have been the original source of the virus’s release and that Chinese officials tried to cover up information revealing that source. A statement issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said it “will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

“Regardless of how this virus started the Communist Chinese government’s lack of transparency and failure to follow security protocols were the cause of tens of thousands of deaths around the world and trillions of dollars in losses,” said Rollins. “Those who caused this devastation must be held accountable.” 

One approach to force China to pay for the losses it has caused is to strip it of sovereign immunity, a legal doctrine that protects countries from civil suits or criminal prosecution. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) are among members of Congress who have drafted legislation to remove sovereign immunity from countries if they took intentional acts to conceal or distort information about the coronavirus that led to damage to other countries. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has also floated waiving interest payments to China for any holdings of U.S. debt.