‘Missed opportunity’; Senator Josh Hawley says President, G7 leaders not doing enough to counter China

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ST. LOUIS–The G7’s weekend call for a study of COVID-19’s origins, including China, is not enough, according to Missouri U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.

“One of the things that’s coming out of the G7 is an insistence that the WHO be able to move forward with China cooperating on this so-called Phase two report to build on the initial report, which had real problems with it, not the least of which was China’s failure to cooperate,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday. “We need to understand what happened. We need to get to the bottom of it. And we’re working on that through the WHO. We’re also working on that ourselves. The President ordered a 90-day sprint led by our intelligence community to try to get to the bottom of it. And the main purpose is to make sure that knowing what happened, why it happened, how it happened, we can put in place what’s necessary to prevent it from happening again or at least to mitigate the next outbreak. China has to cooperate with that transparency, access for international experts, information sharing that has to happen,” Blinken said.

Hawley, sponsor of legislation which would require the Biden administration to declassify intelligence related links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and the origins of the pandemic, criticized the President Wednesday for not having more to show from his first visit overseas.

“What we need out of our G7 partners was we needed a strong alliance against China,” Hawley told FOX2. “China is the most serious pressing national security threat and economic threat for that matter, for our country, we’ve got to be realistic about that, but the President was not able to produce any strong statement, any plan of action going forward.”

Hawley’s legislation on the intelligence information passed the Senate last last month.

In another area of foreign affairs, Hawley declined specific comment when asked if he would support Claire McCaskill, who he defeated in 2018, if she were nominated to be a U.S. Ambassador as has been rumored and first reported by Axios last month. The administration rolled out its first set of nominations earlier this week.

“Let’s see who the President nominates. There’s a lot of people who want to be nominated to a lot of things, I’m sure…let’s see what he does,” Hawley said.

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