Two Republican senators are leading the charge on an issue of great importance: Bringing the manufacture of important pharmaceuticals back from the Chinese factories where they’ve been outsourced. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) are working on legislation that would end China’s monopoly on the medicine game as it becomes obvious to anyone paying attention how unwise it is to depend on a geopolitical rival for one of our country’s most essential imports.
In a floor speech on Wednesday, Sen. Blackburn called on her colleagues to support the Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet Act.
“After we acknowledge Beijing’s gross malfeasance,” Blackburn said, “we’re going to adjust the way we think about China in the context of the economy, of our national defense, technology, human rights, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
“When you think about it, the fact that Beijing intentionally downplayed the deadly nature of COVID-19 should come as no surprise,” she continued. “For decades it has been their business to search out our vulnerabilities, exploit those vulnerabilities, and what did they try to do? They tried to use that as leverage against us. So it is time for us to say, ‘No more.’”
Sen. Cotton sounded a similar note in a conversation with Sean Hannity on Wednesday evening.
“The Chinese Communist Party unleashed this plague on the world that turned what could have been a local health problem in Wuhan into a global pandemic,” Cotton said. “But that’s exactly what the Chinese Communist Party has always done. It’s dishonest, it’s corrupt, and it’s an enemy of the United States.”
Cotton sad it was madness to depend on China for medicines that Americans need to survive.
“It’s one thing to have jobs that make lawn chairs or toy trinkets in China. It’s another thing to make basic pharmaceuticals that we need, like antibiotics or penicillin, ibuprofen, Advil. It’s crazy that we are dependent upon China, a country that at this very moment is still threatening to withhold those critical medical supplies from the United States,” Cotton said. “That’s why it has to end and we have to bring the pharmaceutical manufacturing capability back to the United States.”
While there is an understandable (and rather vital) urge to punish Beijing for their gross misconduct in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, we should also consider bringing manufacturing back from India as well. This week, the Hindu-majority nation went into a 21-day lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, and experts are already whispering about a possible drug shortage. This isn’t just about separating countries into allies and enemies, as important as that is. It’s also about bringing America back to full self-reliance.
You never know when your “friends” aren’t going to be there.