Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler says China is to blame for President Trump and first lady Melania Trump contracting COVID-19.
“Remember: China gave this virus to our President @realDonaldTrump and First Lady FLOTUS,” Loeffler, a Republican vying to keep the seat to which she was appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp, tweeted on Friday. “WE MUST HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.”
COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, late last year, subsequently spread all over the world and Trump has repeatedly blamed Beijing for failing to contain it. The virus has infected nearly 7.3 million Americans and killed over 208,000 while sending the U.S. economy spiraling into its sharpest slowdown since World War II.
Loeffler, with her comments, became the latest Republican to say the U.S. should hold China accountable for the damage caused by the outbreak.
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Some have called for punitive financial measures against the country. Republican Sens. Martha McSally of Arizona and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee introduced a resolution in August calling on China to repay $1.6 trillion of century-old debt that pre-dates the Communist regime. A similar resolution was introduced by Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee.
The president and first lady were tested Thursday after coming in close contact with White House aide Hope Hicks, who was showing symptoms while aboard Air Force One following a rally in Duluth, Minn.
Trump’s positive test will likely take him off the campaign trail for a couple of weeks leading up to the election as anyone who contracts the virus is advised to quarantine for 14 days. The second presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 15, the tail end of the period.
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Loeffler is running in a special election against Republican Rep. Doug Collins and Democrats including Raphael Warnock and Matt Lieberman. A runoff will be held on Jan. 5 if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.