Tags: China | Coronavirus | Health Topics | Marco Rubio | Newt Gingrich | pharmaceuticals | leverage

Rubio: China's Leverage Could Create Shortages in Virus Emergency

marco rubio speaks to the media during a news conference
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 12 March 2020 11:46 AM

The Chinese government's leverage over materials used in manufacturing medications could create a shortage of the supplies that will be needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned Thursday.

"About 80% of the active ingredients – the different components of a drug – about 80% of those come from abroad, and the overwhelming majority of that 80% are manufactured in China," Rubio told Fox News' "Fox & Friends."

Even though the drugs are often assembled in the United States, the key components often come from China because domestic pharmaceutical companies are seeking cheaper labor. 

Rubio pointed out the Chinese Communist Party's newspaper has written an opinion piece mocking the Unites States and saying it should give China "thanks" and "apologies" for coronavirus, rather than blaming them for the outbreak's spread. 

"They realize that in a moment of crisis — let's say the U.S. and China have a showdown over something and they threaten to cut us off of our pharmaceutical supplies, they could trigger a domestic problem here that would make it difficult for us to confront them," Rubio said.

"That's a tremendous amount of leverage,” Rubio said.

He and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called in an opinion piece for changes to happen, pointing out the pandemic shows China's power over the world's health and economy.

"For years, China has enticed American multinational corporations with access to its markets in exchange for off-shoring and sharing intellectual property," they said. "Now, in the face of a pandemic, the absence of domestic capacity in critical medical sectors has critically endangered both the U.S. public health system and our economy. The inability to quickly increase the production of key supplies, such as surgical masks, medical gowns, respirators, and pharmaceutical drugs limits our ability to mitigate the worst effects of the disease in this emerging crisis and in any future pandemic."

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The Chinese government's leverage over materials used in manufacturing medications could create a shortage of the supplies that will be needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., warned Thursday.
pharmaceuticals, leverage, supply, shortages, recession, trade
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2020-46-12
Thursday, 12 March 2020 11:46 AM
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