Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills on Monday that seek to fight against the influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the United States, the Daily Caller reported.
The first bill is meant to defend public institutions from “undue foreign influence,” the Republican governor said at a press conference in Miami, pointing out that it will prohibit “agreements between public entities and the Communist Party of China or Cuba or any of these malignant forces.”
The second piece of legislation criminalizes theft and trafficking trade secrets, with DeSantis warning that “Anyone who willfully, without authorization, steals or attempts to steal a trade secret and uses it for their own benefit will now face a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.”
DeSantis stressed that “All we are doing today is saying enough is enough. We have to start fighting back. Florida is doing that,” the Sun Sentinel reported.
The governor also discussed the Wuhan lab leak theory, accusing China of attempting a coverup.
“If you look at what’s gone on now with the coronavirus pandemic and the coverup of the origins of COVID-19, it is pretty clear that this was a virus that almost assuredly leaked out of this lab and Wuhan,” DeSantis said, according to News4Jax. “This is a lab where these scientists were working very closely with the Communist Party of China, as well as the Chinese military. When you had these folks fall ill who we’re working in that lab last fall, the Communist Party of China decided to cover it up. They didn’t give any information out. They didn’t ask for any assistance they didn’t give a heads up to anybody. They tried to cover it up. And basically, the world has had to endure over a year and a half.”
The governor added that “I really hope that we’re going to have accountability for the origins of the COVID pandemic, because this just did not need to happen. The Chinese Communist Party is primarily to blame, but there’s also American money that very well may have flown to Wuhan,” the Daily Caller reported
He also said that he has considered Beijing as an adversary to the U.S. for a long time, stating the the World Health Organization “is in the pocket of the Communist Party of China (CCP). They basically were having everybody look the other way. The idea was to try to whitewash the role of the CCP in this virus and it wasn’t just WHO, it wasn’t just bureaucracies. You saw the academic community largely circle the wagons and defend the CCP.”
DeSantis, who is considered a future Republican presidential contender, stressed that “If you look right now, there is no single entity that exercises a more pervasive, nefarious influence across a wide range of American industries and institutions than the Communist Party of China,” Politico reported.
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