Invoking an unwritten blame game playbook, Rick Scott, a China hawk in the US Senate, claimed there’s proof Beijing tried to frustrate the Western search for a coronavirus vaccine – but there’s also no way you could ever see it.
Scott, a senator from Florida, made the headline-grabbing remark while speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr this Sunday, telling him that the US and the West have to roll out their Covid-19 vaccine, no matter what Beijing is up to.
We have got to get this vaccine done. Unfortunately we have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down.
Further unloading on the US’ prime opponent, Scott went as far as to claim the Chinese do not “want us … to do it first” because they “decided to be an adversary to Americans and I think to democracy around the world.”
The BBC host then pressed his interlocutor into revealing the mystery evidence. He asked him to substantiate the claim that China is trying to stop the West’s development of the sought-after vaccine.
“Sure,” Scott replied, striking quite a serious tone, “we have evidence … what they’re trying to do is sabotage or slow down our ability to get this vaccine.”
As the conversation turned slightly inconvenient, the US senator proclaimed that “whether England does [the vaccine] first or we do it first, we are going to share.” The communists in Beijing, of course, “are not going to share.”
Just as Scott spoke, China’s Science and Technology Minister Wang Zhigang pledged that his country – first to step into the fight against Covid-19 – would make a vaccine a “global public good” when it finally arrives.
Marr had to ask for the evidence twice until he finally got an answer, but it was nowhere near his expectations.
It came through our intelligence community, I’m on armed services [committee], so these are the things that I cannot discuss … but there’s evidence that they’ve been trying to either sabotage or slow it down.
China hasn’t shown that it could be “a great partner” to the rest of the world as its government “decided they just want to dominate the rest of the world,” the American senator finished with no trace of irony.
Previously in May, Scott teamed up with other senators, unveiling a plan to protect against “stealing or sabotaging American Covid-19 vaccine research.” Among other measures, the proposal obliges the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the FBI to scrutinize all Chinese student visa holders contributing to developing an antidote to the virus.
Also that month, the Florida lawmaker said he believes the US is in “Cold War 2” with China. “Understand you have an enemy,” he bluntly told the media. “They’re an adversary.”
Earlier, Beijing’s white paper on coronavirus also assured that it will carry on supplying the world with “anti-epidemic materials, pharmaceutical ingredients, daily necessities, and other supplies.”