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The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has sent various GOP campaigns a memo encouraging attacks on China in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and guidance on how to link their Democratic rivals to Beijing.
The 57-page document details a range of strategies from how to blame China for the global outbreak and the loss of American jobs, to accusing Democratic opponents of failing to stand up against the Chinese Communist Party and how to weather accusations of racism.
“China caused this pandemic by covering it up,” one talking point states, while accusing Beijing of arresting doctors who sounded early alarms. “They lied and pretended the disease could not be transmitted.”
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“My opponent is soft on China… and can’t be trusted to take them on,” reads another.
The memo also advises campaigns to deflect to China when asked if the spread of the pandemic is President Trump’s fault, saying: “No — don’t defend Trump, other than the China Travel Ban — attack China,” the memo reads.
Candidates are also given guidance on how to respond to racist accusations when blaming China for the virus.
“No one is blaming Chinese Americans,” the memo adds. “This is the fault of the Chinese Communist Party for covering up the virus and lying about its danger.”
The document was authored by the communications firm of Brett O’Donnell, a veteran GOP strategist who has advised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, according to Politico.
Messages from Fox News to the NRSC and O’Donnell were not immediately returned Friday.
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The GOP has sought to blame China for the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in unprecedented lockdowns and crippled the global economy. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt recently filed a lawsuit against China seeking compensation over the loss of life and economic turmoil the pandemic has caused.
Pompeo was rebuffed by Chinese officials this week after indicating he wanted China to grant access to laboratories in China that study pathogens similar to the coronavirus.