Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06), Ranking Republican of the Oversight Subcommittee on the House Financial Services Committee, was selected by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) to serve on a special congressional task force to investigate the People’s Republic of China and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leader McCarthy announced the creation of the task force as well as Congressman Barr’s appointment to this 15-member panel in a Thursday morning press conference.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in the United States, Congressman Barr has called on his colleagues in Congress to exercise oversight and conduct an investigation into China’s role in the origins and spread of the novel coronavirus which has produced a global public health emergency and claimed almost 77,000 American lives.
“The Chinese Communist Party lied from the very beginning about the origins of the coronavirus, and their coverup enabled this virus to spread into a global pandemic, threatening us all. The totalitarian leadership in Beijing silenced whistleblowers who attempted to sound the alarm, they underreported their initial cases, they manipulated the World Health Organization to spread lies about no human-to-human transmission, and they embarked on an elaborate scheme to hoard personal protective equipment and weaponize the global supply chain of medical and pharmaceutical supplies against the international community, including the United States,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “I am grateful to Leader McCarthy for giving me the opportunity to serve on this task force to deliver answers to the American people, expose China’s malign conduct for the public record and provide policy recommendations to hold China accountable, confront this most consequential foreign policy challenge and prevent these atrocities from ever happening again.”
“As the ranking member of the Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Andy has invaluable insight into how China uses the financial system to control the world’s most crucial supply chains and technologies --- from medicine to semiconductors,” said Leader McCarthy. “In a painful sense, “Made in China 2025” is being paid for by America. We cannot allow this to continue. I know Andy will paint a full picture of what went wrong and offer strong recommendations for how we can fix it.”
During the last Congress, Congressman Barr served as Chairman of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Treasury Department’s implementation and enforcement of sanctions, authored and passed legislation imposing secondary sanctions on Chinese financial institutions for facilitating illicit trade with North Korea and led the successful effort to reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to strengthen the U.S. government’s review of Chinese investment in American companies and critical infrastructure, theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of technology.