According to Senator Marco Rubio, China may be developing the “next great pandemic,” which could be “much deadlier and more disruptive” than COVID-19.
Rubio made the remarks during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, where he was discussing a GOP measure that would punish Chinese health officials for refusing to cooperate in the investigation of the COVID-19 virus’s origins.
The next pandemic, according to the Florida Republican legislator, might be “far worse.”
“Well, what it says is within 90 days of the bill passing, if China hasn’t allowed for a full, clear, transparent investigation as to how this thing started, we start sanctioning people involved in the sciences over there, people involved in this research, the institutions involved in this research,” he said. “We’d cut off any and all federal funding for any research that’s gain of function or anything like it in conjunction with any of these agencies over there.’
“Look, we already know enough about what happened in China, I think, to tell you they’ve done something wrong, which is they haven’t allowed the world to fully understand how this thing began, and they’ve covered it up,” Rubio continued. “Now, what it actually leads to — that’s what the world needs to know because the next one could be far worse than this. I mean, coronavirus is terrible. COVID has been terrible. It has killed people. You’ve seen what it’s done to our society and our country, and the world. The next one could be much deadlier, much more disruptive. We — people forget all this research that China does is still going on right now. They’re doing — as we speak, they’re doing it today. It doesn’t stop. This continues.”
Rubio warned that without an accountability mechanism, China could be developing another pandemic-causing virus.
“Here’s the bottom line: All we’re asking for is that China open up and allow a full investigation because this is not just about punishing China — what happened in the past, OK?” he added. “This is about preventing it from happening again. For all we know, at this very moment, the next great pandemic is being developed inside of a Chinese laboratory, and they’re using — they’re doing it because they want to develop a vaccine or a cure.”