U.S. Senator Josh Hawley introduced a resolution Tuesday that calls for an international investigation into China's handling in the early spread of the coronavirus.
The Republican from the state of Missouri accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of intentionally lying to the world about the origin of the pandemic from the day one.
"The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent," said Hawley. "It is time for an international investigation into the role their cover-up played in the spread of this devastating pandemic."
The senator said CCP must be held to account for what the world is now suffering.
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, is introducing the same resolution in the House of Representatives, saying Beijing "knowingly withheld critical information" needed to combat the spread of the virus.
The joint resolution condemns China's decision to hide details of the disease during the initial weeks and calls for an investigation into Beijing's handling of the virus before March 11.
The virus has infected more than 46,800 people in the U.S., and left 593 others dead, according to data being compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
After emerging in Wuhan, China last December the virus known as COVID-19 has spread to at least 169 countries and regions. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide is more than 407,400 with the death toll exceeding 18,200 while greater than 104,000 have recovered.
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