• 72°

Holding the Chinese Community Party accountable

BY REP. DIANA HARSHBARGER
In recent years, it has become apparent that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has become the greatest national security threat to the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the CCP’s role in covering up its origins, has brought this fact to the attention of millions of Americans. I believe the United States must hold the CCP accountable for their dangerous behavior.
China’s aggression is on the rise as the CCP has become more emboldened. They’ve assaulted Hong Kong’s democracy, increased their belligerence toward Taiwan and have launched a disinformation campaign about the origins of COVID-19. For example, China’s state-run media pushes the lie that COVID-19 originated at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md.
We’ve seen the CCP manipulate the World Health Organization (WHO) to push propaganda to aid their coverup of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which increasingly looks to have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. To put it simply — China lied and people died. We must get to the bottom of what the CCP knew and when they knew it.
American policymakers must follow President Trump’s lead in taking the growing threat of the CCP seriously and finding ways to rein in their bad behavior. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has formed a China Task Force, and I’m proud to be one of fifteen members to serve on this critical body.
I was appointed given my first-hand knowledge of the challenges reliance on China presents to our pharmaceutical supply chains. Currently, the United States is reliant on China for many ingredients in prescription drugs, leaving us dependent on the whims of the CCP for life-saving medicines. We must develop policy solutions that will increase our domestic production of prescription drugs.
One of my first actions as your representative in Washington was to request the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reaffirm the critical infrastructure designation for Neopharma in Bristol. Neopharma is the only domestic turn-key facility to allow for the full production of penicillin and is critical to our domestic supply chains and ending reliance on adversaries like China. CISA reaffirmed the designation in February, underscoring the significance of the facility and the jobs it stands to create right here in East Tennessee toward ensuring the resilience of our antibiotic supply.
I can assure you I will continue to work hard on finding ways to hold the CCP accountable. Our national security depends on it.
(Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger represents Tennessee’s First Congressional District. She is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Homeland Security.)