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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told “The Story” Thursday that China has permanently damaged its reputation around the globe because of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rubio reacted to a Fox News report that U.S. officials are increasingly confident that the coronavirus likely escaped from the Wuhan lab where it was being studied.
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“It would be a dramatic, earth-shattering revelation if, in fact, [the report] turns out to be the case. And that would be the case for two reasons. Number one, it’s one thing that someone became infected in the lab and infected some other people. That’s concerning [in] that the same safety standards there are not high,” Rubio said. “But another thing completely is that a government, when they learn of it, would actively attempt to cover it up as they have, if that’s the case. You know, from the very beginning of this crisis, the Chinese have been less than transparent.”
Rubio went on to call the pandemic a “global scandal … one of the most outrageous things that has happened in the modern history of the world if that [report] were to turn out to be true,” and added that China’s coverup of the origins of the virus would not go unpunished in a democracy like the United States.
When asked about potential penalties for Beijing, Rubio bluntly stated that China’s “reputation globally has already been badly damaged.”
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“There are plenty of countries out there that know exactly how China mishandled this, irrespective of whether this came out of that lab or not,” Rubio added. “They’re not out there talking about it because their economies are not big enough take China on directly. But the damage that China has suffered to its perception around the world is in many ways irreparable.”