US Senator Rick Scott (R-Fl) has floored legislation that would prohibit using federal tax dollars to purchase at home COVID-19 tests manufactured by certain states, namely China.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would purchase $600 million in COVID-19 tests earlier this year “ to Bolster US Manufacturing of COVID-19 Tests”. However, at least $86.4 million will go to companies operating in China.
Additionally, Senator Scott’s team alleges that at least one company receiving funds is a fully-owned Chinese company—and likely at “the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party.”
In early November, Scott and Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him and the Biden administration to stop financing companies or subsidiaries of companies headquartered in Communist China.
“Every U.S. tax dollar spent must be carefully scrutinized, and it is our expectation that the Biden administration ensures that not a single dollar of taxpayer funding is used to purchase COVID-19 tests manufactured in Communist China or produced by a Chinese company,” reads the letter.
Recently, an outbreak of pneumonia or a similar respiratory illness has appeared in China, prompting some to call for travel restrictions to and from the country.
According to The Floridian’s Grayson Bakich, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested this may not be a new disease but rather a hard-hitting surge in common respiratory infections such as "walking pneumonia.”
Rubio led a group of bipartisan lawmakers in urging the Biden administration to reduce the U.S.’s reliance on China for minerals that are used on critical technologies.
The lawmakers warn that “China controls nearly 100 percent of the end-to-end supply chain, and is actively seeking to maintain and increase its control of these resources around the globe.”
A study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace suggests democratic countries have enough critical minerals to meet clean energy targets for 2030, despite current reliance on China.