Today, following U.S. Department of Energy and FBI assessments that the COVID-19 virus likely originated and leaked from a Chinese virology lab, U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) introduced legislation to hold foreign countries accountable for conducting negligent and dangerous chemical and biological experiments that threaten public health and global security.
More specifically, the Holding Countries Accountable for Negligent Chemical and Biological Programs Act would amend the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination (CBW) Act of 1991 to impose sanctions on foreign nations whose chemical and biological programs are found to operate with “gross negligence.” It would also expand the existing system of sanctions under the CBW Act of 1991 to include countries that handle hazardous chemicals or biological programs with extreme carelessness.
“As Republicans have correctly articulated for the last three years, the COVID-19 virus originated in a Chinese virology lab in Wuhan, causing nearly 7 million deaths. Foreign countries – especially China – that weaponize their experimental chemical and biological programs against public health and global security must be held accountable for their crimes,” said Rep. Feenstra. “In light of assessments by the Department of Energy and the FBI that the COVID-19 virus leaked from a Chinese lab, I am proud to introduce legislation that will impose ruinous sanctions on our enemies for conducting negligent chemical experiments and spearheading other careless biological programs. It’s shameful that China unleashed the worst pandemic in more than a century on the American people and the world while stonewalling investigations into its origins. My bill will finally make the CCP pay a significant price.”
The United States relies on the CBW Act to prevent atrocities and establish clear boundaries that will not be tolerated by the international community. For example, the United States imposed sanctions through the CBW Act after determining that Russia used a chemical weapon on Sergei Skripal and Alexei Navalny in 2021. Similarly, the United States sanctioned Syrian officials for using chemical weapons, particularly chlorine gas, against its own people in 2013.
Under this legislation, carelessness would not be a justifiable excuse to avoid sanctions. Additionally, this bill would require an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 virus to fully uncover the truth about the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can find bill text HERE.