Democratic Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) is caught in a massive flip-flop on China, and on accountability for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for their handling of COVID-19. Over the weekend, Sen. Peters claimed to be in favor of holding the CCP accountable and criticized President Trump for delaying action against China.
“Certainly, I think the Chinese were wrong in trying to cover-up this virus in the early phases. They were slow to come forward to the world community and let us know what was happening. I was particularly dismayed that they did not allow experts from the United States or the CDC to go into China to help them...We had a president that delayed, who thought that the virus would just miraculously go away or that we had complete control,” Sen. Peters said on Sunday.
Sen. Peters is attempting to rewrite history after President Trump took decisive steps toward accountability for CCP, particularly with the ban on travel from China. While his re-election contest grows more competitive, Sen. Peters released an ad that gives the impression that the Democratic incumbent is tough on China, and that he supported President Trump’s travel ban, but Sen. Peters previously offered no support for the ban as Democrats deemed it “xenophobic.”
This change in rhetoric is a 180-degree spin from Sen. Peters’ previous sentiments, which offered praise for the CCP during the earlier stages of COVID-19. Sen. Peters even went as far as to claim that the Chinese government, which perpetuated COVID-19 into a global pandemic by covering up the virus’s severity, “instituted some very, very aggressive actions around Wuhan province.”
"Like a typical career politician, Peters is trying to rewrite his record of being soft on China," said NRSC spokesperson Nathan Brand. "Not only is his recent praise for the Chinese Communist government problematic, but his record of missing nearly 90 percent of the commission hearings for holding China accountable is just the latest example of Peters failing to stand up for Michiganders."
Sen. Peters’ GOP challenger, Michigan businessman and Army combat veteran John James, clapped back at Sen. Peters’ facade of being “tough” on China:
Gary Peters promises to hold China accountable are nothing more than an election year shill.— Laura Cox (@MIGOPChair) May 26, 2020
From praising their handling of coronavirus to missing hearings for the Congressional Executive Commission on China, it’s clear Peters has a China problem. #MISen pic.twitter.com/Whx9XtYZOB
President Trump’s action on China proved to be the correct path, and Sen. Peters is taking note of that.