Democratic Congressman Adam Smith defended China during a speech on the House floor, saying it was not their responsibility to warn the United States or the world about the coronavirus.
The Washington Examiner reports the comments were made as Smith and Republican Congressman Mark Green debated the merits of a new legislative measure called the Defend COVID Research from Hackers Act.
Smith disagreed with adding the bill to the National Defense Authorization Act. He also said it was Trump, not China, that should be blamed for the spread of the virus.
“One of the gentleman’s arguments is that China hid the true risk of the virus from the American people. And yes, it is terrible that China did that. [But] it’s not actually their job to warn the American people. It’s the president’s job to warn the American people,” Smith said via the report.
“Talk about someone who has done a horrible job of warning us of the true dangers of the virus,” he added. “You don’t like mandates? Okay, that’s fine. Let’s have the leader of our country tell us what we ought to do to protect ourselves. He is the one who is not warning the American people of the true danger of this virus.”
Jeez these people really hate you https://t.co/Sk289pV2Fv
— Jeremy Frankel (@FrankelJeremy) July 22, 2020
The Washington Examiner adds:
Smith chided President Trump for not being more apt to warn people to wear masks.
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Hours later, in a press conference, Trump told reporters that he thought the virus would “get worse before it gets better” and urged citizens to wear masks.
“We’re asking everybody that when you are not able to socially distance, wear a mask. Get a mask, whether you like the mask or not,” he said. “They have an impact. They’ll have an effect, and we need everything we can get.”
— Mark Bednar (@MarkBednar) July 22, 2020