House Democrats voted down a resolution that condemned China for launching cyberattacks aimed at stealing valuable coronavirus data from American research institutions.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.) introduced the resolution on Tuesday morning. It notes China's "long history of conducting cyberattacks on Americans" and further warns that the Communist nation's coronavirus-related attacks could "jeopardize the delivery of secure, effective, and efficient treatment options for American citizens." Kinzinger's resolution also demands that China be held accountable for "perpetrating such belligerent acts."
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Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) argued in support of the resolution, calling China's cyberattacks "a new low."
"At a time when scientists around the world are working together in an epic race against time to develop a life-saving vaccine to rescue the world from the grips of the coronavirus, the CCP is trying to steal that research for their own selfish purposes," he said.
The Texas Republican also admonished the Communist regime for its role in spreading the virus. McCaul said China "lied to the world at every turn" by destroying virus samples, silencing doctors, and downplaying human-to-human transmission.
"They are trying to steal our research to develop a vaccine to save the world from the very pandemic that they created. This is absolutely unacceptable and must be condemned," the congressman said. "Let's move forward together on calling out the CCP for their continued outrageous and dangerous misbehavior."
No House Democrats voted in favor of Kinzinger's resolution.
National security agencies have been monitoring the issue. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a public service announcement in May to warn U.S. medical research organizations of "likely targeting and network compromise by the People's Republican of China (PRC)." The announcement accused China of seeking "valuable intellectual property and public health data through illicit means related to vaccines, treatments and testing."
Kinzinger's resolution calls on the Trump administration to implement sanctions in an effort to "punish those responsible and to dissuade others from engaging in the same acts."