Republican senators proposed a law on Tuesday that would authorize President Donald Trump to sanction China if Beijing fails to fully settle the coronavirus outbreak.
"The Chinese Communist Party must be held responsible for the adverse role they played in this pandemic," said Senator Jim Inhofe, one of the sponsors of the COVID-19 Accountability Act.
"Your complete delusion about the origin and spread of the virus cost the world valuable time and life when it started to spread," he said in a statement.
Legislation will give Trump 60 days to confirm that Congress has provided China with a full record of the COVID 19 outbreak for an investigation conducted by the United States and its allies, or by a United Nations organization such as the World Health Organization could be.
Trump also has to confirm that China closed its highest-risk wet markets and released Hong Kong activists who were arrested after COVID-19.
Without certification, Trump would have the legal right to impose sanctions such as asset freezes, travel bans, visa withdrawals, and restrict Chinese companies' access to U.S. bank finance and capital markets.
"China is refusing to allow the international community to go to the Wuhan laboratory to investigate," said Senator Lindsey Graham, another sponsor of the bill.
"They refuse to allow investigators to investigate how this outbreak started. I am convinced that China will never cooperate with serious investigations unless they are forced to do so."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)