Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., argued on “Sunday Morning Futures” that the United States and other countries need to “shame” China for the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly four million people around the world, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and upended the global economy.
Marshall made the comment during an exclusive interview as the Biden administration has called for a transparent international investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the White House calling for China and the World Health Organization to provide data and information necessary for U.S. officials to draw conclusions.The Kansas senator said on Sunday that he doesn’t believe the Biden administration is doing enough to push the Chinese regime to be more candid and forthright with investigators.
“They [the Biden administration] do have an investigation underway but I’m not expecting them to find anything that we don’t already know,” Marshall told Fox News’ Jason Chaffetz, former chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Marshall suggested that China needs to be public shamed.
“What we have to do is start holding China accountable,” he said. “Certainly, we can sanction them, we can seize their assets, but what they need is public shaming.”
He added that manufacturing needs to be brought back to the United States.
Marshall stressed that the U.S. must “do all those things to publicly battle” China.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
The White House has criticized the WHO and China for its “phase one” report for its lack of transparency. That report dismissed claims that COVID-19 had escaped from the lab in Wuhan, and called the theory of zoonotic transmission, or transfer of infection from animals to humans, “likely to very likely.” It also said the idea that the virus may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology “extremely unlikely.”
A State Department official told Fox News that Secretary of State Antony Blinken is committed to getting more details on the origins of COVID-19, as both a function of accountability and to ensure the U.S. and the American people are protected from public health threats in the future.
The official added that the U.S. and the world need transparency from China, which Beijing has not yet allowed, and said the State Department is working closely with their administration partners and international partners to get the answers needed.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is one of China’s top virus research labs, built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and has faced criticism over its transparency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
China has promoted unproven theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere, or was even been brought into the country from overseas with imports of frozen seafood tainted with the virus, a notion rejected by international scientists and agencies.
“This smells like a cover-up,” Marshall said. “We need multiple nations looking into this and holding China accountable and then starting the shaming in some way.”
“They should be ashamed that they invented this bioterrorism weapon, they should be ashamed they leaked it from the lab, they should be ashamed that they covered it up, they should be ashamed [that] they can’t even make a vaccine right now,” Marshall continued. “So this public shaming has to come to fruition.”
Marshall was referencing the rare admission in April from the normally tight-lipped government, when Chinese health officials noted that China’s coronavirus vaccines “don’t have very high protective rates.”
Late last month, Sen. Marshall and Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., wrote to the Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services to request information regarding a cluster of illnesses associated with the World Military Games, which took place in Wuhan, China in October 2019, months before China first reported its coronavirus cases.
A Washington Post columnist reported in an op-ed that more than 9,000 athletes, including 280 athletes and staff from the United States, attended the Wuhan Military World Games. Many of them reported feeling COVID-like symptoms.
Marshall alleged that “Wuhan was starting to cover up” COVID-19 in October 2019 when thousands of soldiers gathered in Wuhan, China for a military Olympics.
“Several weeks later, many of them developed symptoms,” he said.
“So really since at least October, the people of China were covering this up,” he added. “And what I want to know as a senator is why didn’t the CDC [The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] check into this? Why didn’t the HHS [the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services] check into this? Why wasn’t intelligence working on this? Were they part of the cover-up? Do they have some guilt in the situation as well?”
Spokespeople with the CDC and HHS did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Josh Nelson, Peter Aitken, Rich Edson, Lucas Tomlinson, Tyler Olson and Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.