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Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said he was looking into holding China "accountable" for the coronavirus pandemic.
Cotton, like many other Republican lawmakers, have scrutinized China, where scientists believe the coronavirus originated.
China alleged the US military had shipped the coronavirus to Wuhan.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said he was looking into holding China "accountable" for the coronavirus pandemic that has caused the US to enact strict travel measures.
"I have every confidence America will once again marshal the resolve, toughness, and genius of our people to overcome the serious threat to our health and well-being posed by the Wuhan coronavirus," Cotton said in a statement on Thursday.
"We will emerge stronger from this challenge, we will hold accountable those who inflicted it on the world, and we will prosper in the new day," he added.
Cotton later replied to a Twitter message suggesting that "China will pay for this," and said "correct."
Cotton, like many other Republican lawmakers, have scrutinized China, where scientists believe the coronavirus originated. Although the exact source of the virus is still under investigation, China-based scientists believe it may have come from a wildlife market in Wuhan.
Earlier in February, Cotton did not rule out the possibility that the coronavirus may have been developed by the Chinese in a "superlaboratory," and that the damage from the virus could be "worse than Chernobyl."
Cotton, a longtime China hawk, suggested Beijing had not been as forthcoming about the number of infections and was "lying about it from the very beginning" to downplay the seriousness of the epidemic. Chinese officials have been accused of lowering the number of cases and tamping down on reports for months, before the virus's spread was formally acknowledged by the government.
"They also claimed, for almost two months until earlier this week, that it originated in a seafood market in Wuhan," Cotton said in February. "That is not the case."
Cotton has since closed down his office in Washington D.C. and ordered his staff to work remotely, after a congressional aide tested positive.
China in turn has alleged the US military had shipped the coronavirus to Wuhan. One Chinese official claimed without evidence that the US Army had "brought" the virus to his country.
"When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US Army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Twitter. "Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation."
Nearly 120,000 people have been infected so far and over 4,290 people have died, the majority of cases stemming from China. The US has had over 970 cases and 30 deaths.
Read the original article on Business Insider