This bill — the Li Wenliang Global Public Health Accountability Act — would authorize the president to impose property- and visa-blocking sanctions on foreign individuals and entities involved in deliberate acts to conceal or distort information about a public health emergency of international concern, including the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, it would freeze the financial & property assets of sanctioned entities & individuals, in addition to barring sanctioned individuals from entering the U.S. The bill is named after Dr. Li Wenliang, who was a doctor in a hospital located in Wuhan, China that spread word among doctors about the spread of COVID-19, and was publicly admonished by local police with the endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party for his “rumor mongering”. Li later contracted COVID-19 and died of the illness.
The president would be authorized to impose sanctions on:
A government official (or a senior associate of such an official) who is responsible for or complicit in deliberate acts to conceal or distort information about an international public health emergency, or who benefits financially from such acts.
A foreign person or entity that has materially assisted or supported such acts.
This legislation would be modeled after the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which allowed the imposition of sanctions on individuals & entities involved with the perpetration of human rights violations.