Walorski Calls for Hearing on China’s Efforts to Hack Coronavirus Vaccine Researchers

Friday, July 31, 2020

Walorski Calls for Hearing on China’s Efforts to Hack Coronavirus Vaccine Researchers

Receives Assurances from Dr. Fauci That Any Vaccine Approved Will Be Safe, Effective, Affordable, and Widely Available

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today called for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to hold a hearing on China’s efforts to hack companies researching and developing a coronavirus vaccine. The U.S. Department of Justice last week announced the indictment of two hackers working with the Chinese government to target intellectual property and confidential business information, including COVID-19 research.

“Just last week, the Justice Department indicted two Chinese nationals for hacking companies that are working on a vaccine,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “We sent a strong message to China: this will not be tolerated. I’m glad the administration took action by naming and shaming those involved, as well as closing down a Chinese consulate that was a hub for intellectual property and trade secret theft. We must hold China accountable, Mr. Chairman. Before I close, can you commit to holding a hearing on the threat of Chinese espionage on vaccine producers?”

In today’s subcommittee hearing, Walorski also applauded the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, an initiative to accelerate the development of a safe, effective, affordable, and widely available vaccine. In response to questions from Congresswoman Walorski, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, assured the American people the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not compromise or eliminate any safety standards in the vaccine approval process.

“I believe ultimately over a period of time in 2021, if we have – and I think we will have – a safe and effective vaccine, that Americans will be able to get it,” Dr. Fauci said. “The commissioner of the FDA, Dr. Stephen Hahn, has assured me and has spoken publicly that he would make sure any decision on the part of the FDA will be based on sound scientific data proving the safety and the efficacy. Given that, I think the American public should be assured that in the process of determining the safety and efficacy the proper steps have been taken to determine that, and when a vaccine becomes available it’s important for their own health and for the health of the country to take that vaccine.”

Video of Congresswoman Walorski’s remarks at the hearing can be found here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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