Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis placed the blame for the coronavirus pandemic squarely on China’s shoulders in a new commercial released Monday.
“China is responsible for this pandemic, and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so. When I’m your United States Senator, we are going to launch an unprecedented ‘Buy American’ initiative and break our country’s dependence on China,” Lewis said in a statement provided to The Minnesota Sun.
“It is unacceptable that in a time of crisis we can’t depend on domestic supply chains for life-saving medicine and medical supplies,” he added.
In the commercial, Lewis criticizes the political establishment for “blocking economic relief, selling their stock, and outsourcing jobs to China” during the pandemic.
“We need to buy American, put Minnesota first, and make certain this never ever happens again. As your next senator, I’ll do exactly that,” said Lewis, a former congressman who was unseated in the 2018 midterms and is now running against Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN).
Lewis said it’s “ludicrous to have American companies begging communist China’s permission to send life-saving equipment back home in the midst of a pandemic” and pointed to the recent controversy surrounding 3M as an example.
“Last week, in response to revelations that their distributors were selling personal protective equipment abroad in the midst of a pandemic, 3M management said they had ‘secured approval from China to export to the U.S. 10 million N95 respirators manufactured by 3M in China,’” he said. “And yet, my opponent Senator Tina Smith, who coincidentally has taken $10,000 dollars from 3M, got on MSNBC this weekend to defend 3M management and defend her worldview that puts outsourcing first, and America second.”
President Donald Trump announced during a Monday press briefing that his administration and 3M have reached an “amicable” deal. According to a statement from 3M, the deal involves importing 166.5 million N95 respirators from its manufacturing facility in China over the next three months to support health care workers in the United States.
“I want to thank President Trump and the administration for their leadership and collaboration,” said 3M Chairman and CEO Mike Roman. “We share the same goals of providing much-needed respirators to Americans across our country and combating criminals who seek to take advantage of the current crisis. These imports will supplement the 35 million N95 respirators we currently produce per month in the United States.”
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