On Tuesday, Senator Rick Scott and Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra urging him and the Biden administration to stop using federal funds to purchase at-home tests for COVID-19 that are manufactured by companies or are subsidiaries of companies headquartered in Communist China. Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would purchase $600 million in COVID-19 tests and named 12 companies that gained the contract and implied that each was an American company. Upon further investigation, it was found that some of these companies have foreign ownership, and at least one is a Chinese company—and likely at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party.
Last year, after the Biden administration initially announced they would purchase at-home COVID-19 tests to distribute to American households, Senator Scott sent a similar letter to Secretary Becerra urging the administration to prioritize purchasing COVID-19 tests from American manufacturers and to not import tests from Communist China.
Additionally, last Congress, Senator Rick Scott asked for unanimous consent on the Senate floor to pass his No Taxpayer Dollars for Communist Chinese COVID Tests Act, a bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to purchase at-home tests for COVID-19 that are imported from, or manufactured in, Communist China. Senate Democrats blocked its passage.
Read the full letter HERE or below.
Dear Secretary Becerra:
We write to you today to urge you to prioritize American companies and American manufacturing, in order to ensure the health and well-being of American families. It is imperative that the federal government do everything in its power to complete our public health mission in a cost-effective manner that prioritizes support for American companies to invest in domestic manufacturing.
On September 20, 2023 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it would purchase $600 million in COVID-19 tests. In its announcement, HHS named 12 companies that gained the contract and implied that each was an American company. We know that many of these companies have foreign ownership, and at least one is a Chinese company—and likely at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party. Given this fact, it is not enough for the U.S. government to simply purchase any at-home COVID tests regardless of its country of origin or corporate ownership structure.
Every U.S. tax dollar spent must be carefully scrutinized, and it is our expectation that the Biden administration ensures that not a single dollar of taxpayer funding is used to purchase COVID-19 tests manufactured in Communist China or produced by a Chinese company. The federal government would never give a contract to an American subsidiary of Huawei, and it should not give a contract to any American subsidiary of any other Communist Chinese company. The federal government has a responsibility to support American manufacturers, and we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that it was the Chinese Communist Party that lied about this deadly virus, tried to hide it, and continuously covered up the origins of COVID-19. Furthermore, we know that every dollar spent on COVID-19 tests manufactured in Communist China goes directly to supporting General Secretary Xi and his genocidal regime.
We ask that you provide an immediate response to this letter with your commitment that the Biden administration will certify that ZERO American tax dollars will be spent on COVID-19 antigen tests manufactured in Communist China, or manufactured by a Chinese entity, including in cases in which a subsidiary of a Chinese company is selling the tests. We also ask that you provide all available details on how this planned purchase of $600 million in antigen tests will support U.S. manufacturing and American companies.
Last year, we were disappointed that the Biden administration chose to purchase COVID-19 at-home tests manufactured in China. So, it is extremely concerning that the Biden administration has doubled down on this policy by purchasing even more tests from a Chinese-owned company.
We look forward to hearing from you on this important issue and working together to ensure that our fight against COVID-19 both supports American jobs and holds Communist China accountable for the horrific virus it unleashed on the American people.