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By: BWST Staff
Published: March 12, 2020

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) is facing blowback after issuing an incendiary statement on his official Senate website which insinuated that China was to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the written statement, which incorrectly refers to COVID-19 as “the Wuhan virus”, Sen Cotton states “we will hold accountable those who inflicted [the virus] upon the world.”

This apparent reference to the Chinese state and the people of China as intentional actors in the spread of the virus not only contradicts the conclusion of social and biological scientists from around the world, it provokes racism toward people of east Asian descent as fear of the virus grows.

The COVID-19 coronavirus started in a marketplace in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where a worker was preparing meat from an infected animal.

The virus mutated, making it able to leap from the animal to the human before rapidly mutating further, allowing it to spread easily between people.

Very quickly, Dr. Jixian Zhang and Dr. Li Wenliang noticed a rising trend in a mysterious pneumonia-like illness in a portion of the province and added pressure to Chinese officials to take action, even in the face of opposition. After noticing the trend, they alerted the local CDC and within five days the marketplace was shut down.

Dr. Wenliang quickly contracted the virus after treating patients around the clock and passed away nearly one month later.

The Chinese government took swift, immensely aggressive and hardline action in order to control the spread of the virus; shutting down entire cities and canceling public activities nationwide within weeks.

As the United States continues to grapple to contain the virus, it is critical that elected officials treat the threat posed with the level of sincerity, integrity and compassion it requires.

This global pandemic is not an attack on the United States and the nation of China or its people have nothing to be “held accountable” for.  The actions of Dr. Zhang and Dr. Wenliang very likely saved countless lives.

Insinuating otherwise is an outright lie and damaging to the safety and security of the nation in the midst of one of the greatest crises we have faced in generations.

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