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Conservative groups want Trump to investigate China for coronavirus cover up

Medical workers at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, China. (Xiong Qi/Xinhua via AP/TNS)
March 23, 2020

Several conservative activist groups joined onto an open-letter to President Donald Trump, calling on him to investigate China and the origins of the global COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

The letter was formed by Brent Bozell last week and signed by 39 conservative activist leaders. It was then released through Bozell’s conservative media watchdog group, the Media Research Center. The letter implicates the Chinese government as having covered up the initial outbreak of coronavirus, to the detriment of millions of Americans and other governments around the world.

“The world needs to know the details behind the spread of this deadly virus so everyone understands exactly how this was started. The world deserves to know who was responsible so future pandemics of this nature can be prevented,” the letter reads.

The letter goes on to reference allegations by Chinese government officials that it was actually the U.S. Army that first spread coronavirus to Wuhan, China.

“China’s outright and extreme politicization of this horrible disease is outrageous, unacceptable, and dangerous. That politicization has already spread panic across the world,” the letter went on. “The Chinese-led hysteria has roiled markets, and disrupted everyday life for millions of Americans and citizens of other countries around the world.”

The letter also referenced comments by U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and open-source reporting that the Chinese government suppressed early warnings within China about the spread and severity of the coronavirus. In particular, the letter noted the case of Dr. Li Wenliang, who raised early warnings about the coronavirus and was subsequently detained by Chinese police.

“As a result of [Wenliang’s] due diligence, Chinese authorities accused him of spreading ‘false information’ and that he had ‘gravely disturbed [the] social order,'” the letter said.

Wenliang ultimately contracted the coronavirus and died of the illness. Other early whistleblowers in China have also described being detained and reprimanded for raising alarms about the virus.

“We therefore respectfully request you consider launching a more formal investigation to uncover the truth,” the letter concludes. “The first step in making sure this never happens again is finding out what happened in the first place.”

The Trump administration has not yet provided a response to the letter, though Donald Trump Jr. saw and shared it to Twitter Friday.

The letter was signed by Craig Shirley, President Ronald Reagan’s biographer, as well as the presidents of Young Americans for Freedom and other conservative groups.