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WASHINGTON, D.C.–China should be held accountable for the spread of the coronavirus and should be forced to pay the United States reparations, says Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). He’s signed on to a resolution in Congress that calls for that repayment, supported by Republicans and Democrats.

“There is a strong bipartisan push in Congress to hold China accountable for their negligence and role in the spread of COVID-19 or coronavirus,” said Banks, on Tony Katz Today.

LISTEN: Interview with Rep. Jim Banks

Banks said House members from both parties have signed on to co-sponsor the legislation, which asks the president to exert his power to make China pay in a variety of possible ways.

“I’ve called for reparations from China, whether it’s erasing a vast amount of our national debt that China holds or issuing tariffs that we can use funding on Chinese goods to create some kind of coronavirus victims relief fund.”

Banks said he believes China was negligent in not warning the U.S. and the rest of the world about how serious a threat coronavirus is.

“The Chinese government made multiple serious mistakes in the early stages of the outbreak that heightened the severity and spread. The Chinese government’s intentional spread of misinformation to downplay the risk and the refusal to cooperate with the international health authorities” likely put America behind in fighting the virus and cost us in lives and a suddenly broken economy, he said.

Banks said if China had allowed us to go in back in January, it would have saved us two months in the fight.

“Due to their negligence and disinformation campaign that has come out of their country, that is gonna cost trillions of dollars, and we must hold them accountable for that.

Banks said China also censored doctors and reporters to keep correct information from getting out of the country.

He said he hopes the resolution will prompt action from the president, or other action to force China to begin to pay for the enormous burden that America is now carrying.