McCarthy Pushes to Move Olympics from China

Republican leader says Beijing should not be 'rewarded' for COVID cover-up

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) / Getty Images
June 21, 2021

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) is pushing for the relocation of the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing, citing China's cover-up of the coronavirus origins.

In a letter to House Republicans on Monday, McCarthy offered a "roadmap" for confronting China on its coronavirus lies, urging for renewed efforts to relocate the Olympics. The Republican leader said China should not be "rewarded" with the games after concealing information about COVID-19, which has killed more than 600,000 Americans and 3.8 million people worldwide, from the international community.

"The unfortunate reality is that countless friends and family members could have been saved had it not been for the deception of the Chinese Communist Party," McCarthy wrote. "Like all of you, I am deeply angry about the avoidable loss of life, hope, and futures resulting from the CCP's actions. They and their conspirators must be held accountable."

McCarthy's proposal goes a step further than legislation considered thus far by Congress. The Senate passed a bill earlier this month that calls for a "diplomatic boycott" of the Beijing Olympics, which would bar U.S. government officials from attending the games.

Some lawmakers and experts say a diplomatic boycott, however, does not go far enough to address the scope of China's human rights abuses, including the detention of millions of Uyghur Muslims. Chinese sportswear company Anta, the official athletic brand for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, has pledged to use cotton grown in Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities coerce members of the Muslim minority group into forced labor.