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‘Attack China’: GOP sends advices to candidates over coronavirus

CGTN Published: 2020-04-25 17:11:55

The National Republican Senatorial Committee sent campaigns a memo authored by a top Republican strategist advising GOP candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by aggressively attacking China, Politico reported Friday.

People participate in a protest against the closing of businesses and stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus, in Las Vegas, U.S., April 23, 2020. [Photo: AP]

People participate in a protest against the closing of businesses and stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus, in Las Vegas, U.S., April 23, 2020. [Photo: AP]

The detailed, 57-page memo includes guiding candidates how to deflect public anger on racism to the “cover-up” of the Chinese government and to tie Democratic candidates to the Chinese government, accusing them of being “soft on China.”

“Coronavirus was a Chinese hit-and-run followed by a cover-up that cost thousands of lives,” the April 17 memo states and Republicans will “push for sanctions on China for its role in spreading this pandemic.”

The memo urged candidates to pivot to China when responding to questions on whether the spread of the coronavirus is Trump’s fault

“Don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban – attack China,” the memo states.

Republicans find attacking China a perfect strategy to salvage popularity ratings and crack down on rivals, and many have already done so in their 2020 campaigns.

Senator Tom Cotton was one of the representatives who urged Senate candidates to make China a centerpiece of their campaign and called for Congress and the president to work together to make it happen.

Josh Hawley, a first-term Missouri senator, appealed for Americans with COVID-19 to be allowed to sue the Chinese government in his campaigns.

The NRSC memo was authored by the political consulting firm of Brett O’ Donnell, a veteran Republican strategist who has advised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Cotton. O’Donnell declined to comment.

When asked about the document, NRSC spokesman Jesse Hunt said it was “routine” for the committee to send different documents and sources of information every week, especially in these “volatile times.”

The memo also includes guidance on what Republican candidates can say when asked whether blaming China for the pandemic incites racism.

According to Politco, candidates are urged to respond by saying: “No one is blaming Chinese Americans. This is the fault of the Chinese Communist Party for covering up the virus and lying about its danger. This caused the pandemic and they should be held accountable.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reacts to the GOP memo on her Twitter account. [Photo: China Plus]

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reacts to the GOP memo on her Twitter account. [Photo: China Plus]

The GOP’s attempt to blame China for covering up the information was rejected by the WHO, which stated that it has been working closely with experts from the United States, especially after the coronavirus outbreak, and all the information has been open to every country from the beginning.

A Washington Post report gave another blow by revealing that Trump’s administration was aware of the real-time information on COVID-19 pandemic as early as the crisis unfolded from U.S. officials at WHO.

Surveys conducted by Pew Research Center showed that 65 percent of Americans believe Trump responded late to the outbreak in terms of government’s response, just 39 percent believe Trump portrays the real situation while 73 percent of the adults believe the worst is still to come.

Whatever rhetoric politicians use to blame China, they cannot change the fact that the U.S. remain as the country with the most confirmed cases, four times more than Spain, the second-ranking country on the list, along with the most deaths in the world.

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