What do you think considering some of the “bonehead” decisions coming out of Washington DC? Decisions and policies that are clearly detrimental to OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and ALL HER LEGAL CITIZENS? Policies made possible due to the greatest election fraud ever perpetrated against LEGAL VOTING US CITIZENS which intentionally placed a mentally impaired, ethically compromised crony sellout politician in the White House. A traitor completely surrounded, encouraged and manipulated by radical leftists focused on destroying OUR FREEDOM LOVING COUNTRY so as to reconfigure it into what?
The awakening has occurred but what will follow?
May God continue to Bless the USA and ALL HER CITIZENS and have mercy on those who sought/seek HER destruction.
The Hong Kong government has started COVID-19 vaccination for priority groups including people over 60 years old on Feb. 26. The picture shows two local officials being vaccinated with Chinese-made Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. (Song Bilong/The Epoch Times) Vaccines & Safety
Hong Kong authorities confirmed on April 11 that another citizen died after receiving the China-made COVID-19 vaccine Sinovac. The government did not report the death until local media inquired about it. To date, 14 people in Hong Kong have died after receiving Sinovac and 13 have developed facial paralysis.
16 Deaths and 15 Cases of Facial Paralysis
On April 11, the Hong Kong Drainage Services Department (DSD) confirmed that a 58-year-old male employee fell unconscious at work on April 8 and died after being sent to hospital. The man had been vaccinated with Sinovac on March 16. The government did not voluntarily announce the death and confirmed the case only after the media inquired on April 11, causing public suspicion of intentional concealment.
To date, 16 Hong Kongers have died after being vaccinated in the past six weeks: 14 received the Sinovac vaccine and two received the BioNTech vaccine jointly developed by China and Germany. In addition, the Department of Health said that by April 4, it had received 15 reports of suspected facial paralysis after vaccination, of which 13 received the Sinovac vaccine and two received BioNtech vaccine.
With so many serious anomalies and deaths, Hong Kong people have become reluctant to get the Sinovac vaccine. Only 2,500 people received a first dose of Sinovac vaccine on April 11, the lowest number since vaccinations began 45 days ago, the government reported on the night of April 11.
Carrie Lam Threatens ‘Consequences’
As of April 12, about 597,400 Hong Kong residents have received a first dose of vaccine, less than 10 percent of the population.
However, when trying to boost the take-up rate, Chief Executive Carrie Lam did not appear to reflect on the safety of domestic vaccines. Instead, she proposed a series of “incentives” to encourage inoculation, such as relaxing restrictions for residents who have been fully vaccinated.
For example, restaurant staff and customers need to be vaccinated before restrictions on those businesses can be lessened. Lam also stressed that citizens who do not get the vaccine will have “consequences.”
Gordon Lam, the convenor of the Hong Kong Small and Middle Restaurant Federation, questioned in a Facebook post, “Vaccination, which should be an individual choice, is now a privilege to enter a restaurant. How much does the government want to use vaccinations as leverage to get restaurants back in business so that it forces citizens to get vaccinations which have not yet been fully proven to work?”
Hong Kong resident Mr. Wong told The Epoch Times that he didn’t get vaccinated because he didn’t have confidence in the safety of the vaccine. He believes that the Hong Kong government is acting like a gangster, which makes the public even more disgusted.
In March, Han Zheng, the CCP vice premier in charge of Hong Kong and Macao affairs, met with Lam and asked her to “take epidemic prevention and control as the central task” in addition to changing Hong Kong’s electoral system. A politician told Apple Daily that what Lam has been doing is “hand over her homework” to the central government, by using intimidation and money to lure citizens into vaccination to boost the vaccination rate, in the hope of winning credits from Beijing and gaining an edge in her re-election campaign.
Chinese Report Adverse Reactions through Unofficial Channels
While Hong Kong has reported death cases and serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccination, in mainland China, where approximately 160 million people have received vaccines, the authorities have not disclosed any negative post-vaccination cases.
Chinese social media and overseas Chinese media have become the only channels for Chinese citizens to share the side-effects they experience or witness.
On April 14, a Chinese citizen spoke to Sound of Hope, a sister radio network of The Epoch Times, and exposed that two weeks ago, a man died on the same day he received COVID-19 vaccine, leaving behind three children.
The victim, Wang Dajun, 43, lived in Lingxi Village, Zhuanghe City, Liaoning Province. According to the person who spoke to Sound of Hope, Wang received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in late March and died that evening. Local authorities have since strictly blocked the flow of such information.
Sound of Hope was able to reach a female resident in Lingxi Village by phone, who verified the information. “Wang was in his forties and was very healthy. He received the vaccination around 10 a.m. that day, and died in the evening,” she said. “He left behind three children, two teenage girls and a 4-year-old son who is a kindergartener. No one in our area dares to get vaccinated anymore.”
Ling Zhenbo, a resident of Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province, revealed to Radio Free Asia that when he was at the vaccination site, he saw a person collapse to the ground after inoculation. “Other people wanted to take pictures of the incident, but the authorities on-site forbade them to do so. I believe there must be other cases of inoculation side-effects in China, but the media are forbidden to report them.”
Liang Wei from Beijing (not his real name), revealed on Chinese social media that his wife collapsed 10 minutes after getting a shot. She was rushed to China-Japan Friendship Hospital for emergency treatment, and gradually regained consciousness. Liang complained that “the vaccination staff acted as if injection was their only responsibility and they don’t do anything if a recipient runs into problems. When my wife passed out, they did not even attempt to help, like arranging a fast-path hospital admission for her. I had to wait in line and go over the procedures at the hospital myself. And all the hospital costs were out of my own pocket.”
His post on Chinese social media was soon deleted by the Chinese authorities. Another Beijing resident who took notice of the post later shared the incident with Radio Free Asia.
According to Internal documents obtained by The Epoch Times, even local officials and public servants do not trust China’s domestic vaccines, and they use various excuses to avoid having the mandatory vaccination.
For instance, in Xintai Town of Tai’an County, Liaoning Province, there are 65 officials and staff in the township government. Only three people were vaccinated and two others were waiting to receive the vaccine, all others used various excuses to dodge the mandatory vaccination, such as allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, or planning to get pregnant this year.
In Tai’an County’s Housing and Development Bureau, only one person took the vaccine, the other 55 refused to receive it by claiming that they have underlying health issues.
Democrats have killed millions with their policies. Millions of American people are broke and are suffering under the Biden Harris fly by night regime. Talking points and the press have swallowed up the truth. The fog rolls in and the fire, smoke, and haze covers the country with menusha, half truth, weakness, and utter fantasy. Biden is following a Hollywood script written by professional Communist writers and movie makers. Democrats OWN the press. They OWN Social Media. And still the majority of Americans know these Democrats are stacking the deck and rigging the game, but they have to much respect for the law to fight back against the dishonorable Democratic Party.
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Russia at the White House in Washington on April 15, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images) Executive Branch
Biden Admin Releases $39 Billion From Stimulus Package to Address ‘Child Care Crisis’
The White House on Thursday announced that it is releasing $39 billion in funding for states to address the “child care crisis” with the money to come from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill President Joe Biden signed into law last month.
The Biden administration said the $39 billion is aimed at addressing the “acute, immediate child care crisis” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will help early childhood educators and family child care providers keep their doors open.
Split into two parts, the initiative will see $24 billion will go to providers as part of a stabilization fund to help “child care providers to reopen or stay open, provide safe and healthy learning environments, keep workers on payroll, and provide mental health supports for educators and children.”
The other part will provide $15 billion in more flexible funding “for states to make child care more affordable for more families, increase access to high-quality care for families receiving subsidies.”
Vice President Kamala Harris called the funding the “single largest investment in child care in the nation’s history.”
Last year, $15 billion in child care relief was provided as part of COVID-19 relief packages under the Trump administration.
“For many, many people and many women in particular, child care has often been the prerequisite for their ability to work, and for many others, child care is their work, and that’s why in America, child care should be readily available and affordable for all of those who need it,” Harris said.
The White House said the funds are “a critical step to pave the way for a strong economic recovery and a more equitable future.”
“These providers have been on the front lines caring for the children of essential workers and support parents, especially mothers, who want to get back to work,” the White House said in its announcement.
The Biden administration said that it expects the funding will benefit hundreds of thousands of child care providers and early childhood educators.
“In America, child care should be readily available and affordable for all of those who need it, child care workers should be paid fairly and treated with dignity and respect, and small business owners who run child care centers must be fully supported,” Harris added.
It will also include an expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit. As part of the stimulus, the credit was increased to $3,000 per child from ages six to 17, and $3,600 for children under six. It was made fully refundable, and payable in monthly installments of $300. Before this, the maximum annual credit was $2,000 for every child under 17.
Some experts have called the funding a move toward universal basic income.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday that Biden wants to make the Child Tax Credit permanent, beyond the pandemic.
“He believes there’s a lot of proposals out there, including from Senator Romney, to work to ensure there’s longer-term assistance through the Child Tax Credit,” she told reporters. “And he believes it’s also one of the ways that we can help address the number of women—working women—who have moved out of the workforce,” she added. “But we just have to find a vehicle, and we’re having those discussions with Congress.”
The White House said that more guidance on the funds will be released in the coming weeks.
Then-President Donald Trump speaks to the media after signing a bill for border funding in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 1, 2019. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump reacted to White House plans to create a commission that would, among other proposals, study potentially expanding the Supreme Court.
Trump said that because the high court did not hear election-related cases after Nov. 3, the justices on the Supreme Court will “get what they deserve” if it is expanded.
Of the Supreme Court, “Now there is a very good chance they will be diluted (and moved throughout the court system so that they can see how the lower courts work), with many new Justices added to the Court, far more than has been reported. There is also a good chance that they will be term-limited,” Trump said, as he made claims of election fraud during the Nov. 3 election.
“Our politically correct Supreme Court will get what they deserve—an unconstitutionally elected group of Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our Country,” he added in his statement.
Last week, the White House released a statement saying President Joe Biden would create a commission that would look into possibly expanding—or “packing”—the Supreme Court and term limits for justices. The commission is headed by two former Obama administration officials.
“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals,” said the White House. “The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”
However, Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the liberal wing of the court, warned that “packing” the court is an unwise move because it will create the impression that the Supreme Court would be a politically motivated entity, which will further erode trust in U.S. institutions.
“If the public sees judges as politicians in robes, its confidence in the courts and in the rule of law can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a check on other branches,” he said at a speech to Harvard University students.
As a result of Breyer’s comments, left-wing activist groups began calling on the 82-year-old justice to retire.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki rebuffed those calls, saying Biden will not push him to step down.
“He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court,” Psaki told reporters on April 10.
A health worker loads syringes with the vaccine on the first day of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine being made available to residents at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 11, 2021. (Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo) Vaccines & Safety
California’s Orange County plans to launch a pilot program for digital CCP virus vaccine and testing passports, according to health officials.
The vaccine and testing credentialing arrangement will be rolled out sometime in April, Orange County Health Care Agency officials said on Twitter.
“The Digital Passport enables individuals to participate safely and with peace of mind in activities that involve interactions with other people, including travel, attractions, conferences/meetings, concerts, sports, school and more,” officials added.
While details are scant about how the digital vaccine passport would work, the Orange County health agency’s director and health officer, Dr. Clayton Chau, told the O.C. Register that the county’s existing Othena vaccine scheduling app could be modified to include a credentialing feature.
The Othena app is being used to schedule vaccine appointments at the county’s mass inoculation sites, including at Disneyland.
Chau also told the outlet that printed cards could be issued for use by people who don’t use smartphones.
California Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón said last week that there are currently no plans to create a state-level vaccination passport system, although health officials are looking into formulating standards and guidelines around the use of such credentials, KTLA reported.
Aragón said that if federal authorities “don’t move fast enough” with developing such guidelines, “we will come up with technical standards that will be expected—really focusing on making sure that privacy is protected and that equity is protected.”
It comes amid controversy over vaccine passport-style systems, which have been proposed in some countries, and as some U.S. states and regions have either considered their adoption or moved forward with their deployment.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s latest emergency proclamation includes a plan for vaccine passports that would allow travelers to avoid quarantine and COVID-19 testing. While there is no timeline for its adoption and it still needs approval by the director of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Lt. Gov. Josh Green told Hawaii News Now that the plan is to launch a pilot for inter-island travel by May 1.
New York state has also rolled out its “Excelsior Pass” system that would require people to show that they have been vaccinated when trying to enter certain events and locations.
Vaccine passports have been criticized by civil liberties groups, who say they would potentially violate Americans’ privacy rights while denying key services to people who are not vaccinated.
The Biden administration has said that it would not develop a federal vaccine passport system, but that it would come up with guidelines around their use and leave development to the private sector and local authorities.
“The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at the White House last week.
Psaki last month responded to reports that the administration was working with private firms to create a passport system, saying the administration would only provide guidance.
“Our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected so that these systems are not used against people unfairly,” Psaki clarified Tuesday. She again said the government would provide guidance on privacy concerns related to vaccines.
Several governors, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, have issued executive orders barring the use of vaccine passports.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) has also introduced legislation that would ban federal agencies from future issuance of any standardized documentation that could be used to certify COVID-19 vaccination status to third parties, like airlines or restaurants.
Biggs’s proposed bill, called the No Vaccine Passports Act (pdf), would also prohibit proof of COVID-19 vaccination from being a requirement to access federal or congressional property and services, Biggs’s office said in a statement.
“My private health care decisions—and yours—are nobody else’s business,” Biggs said. “Vaccine passports will not help our nation recover from COVID-19, instead, they will simply impose more Big Brother surveillance on our society.”
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered remarks Monday on the Senate floor, regarding upcoming legislative priorities.
McConnell was Tuesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here are his words:
“The Senate returns today from a state work period. We got to meet with constituents in our home states and hear firsthand about their most pressing concerns.
Unfortunately, back here in Washington, Democrats continued to roll out new reasons for the American people to worry.
The week before last, the Biden Administration unveiled their latest misleadingly-titled legislation. This time, under the supposed veil of ‘infrastructure’, the White House has lumped together a motley assortment of the Left’s priciest priorities.
This plan would impose the biggest tax hikes in a generation when workers need an economic recovery. It would gut right-to-work protections for blue-collar workers.
It would throw hundreds of billions at the far-left’s ‘green’ fads. They even want to include a special state and local tax provision designed to overwhelmingly benefit wealthy residents of blue states.
Less than 6% of this proposal goes to roads and bridges. It’s not remotely targeted toward what Americans think they’re getting when politicians campaign on infrastructure.
But instead of coming up with a better bill, Democrats have decided it’s the English language that has to change.
They’re embarking on an Orwellian campaign to convince everybody that any government policy whatsoever can be labeled ‘infrastructure.’ Liberals just have to believe in it hard enough.
These Trojan horse tactics have become a pattern.
Many of our Democratic colleagues are trying to rewrite 50 states’ election laws from here in Washington, mount a partisan takeover of the Federal Election Commission, but call the whole mess a ‘voting rights bill.’
The White House’s claims about state election regulations keep getting disproven by fact-checkers. But even so, some of the wealthiest and most powerful institutions in our country have bowed down to fake narratives and decided to amplify the misstatements themselves.
Look, I’m as strong a supporter of the First Amendment and free speech as anyone in this body. I have been for many years. If people want to participate in debates through political speech, that’s their constitutional right, even if they fall for disinformation.
But it’s one thing to act like free speakers within a debate. It’s very different to try to short-circuit the debate, to shut down the debate, through economic bullying of American citizens.
The last two weeks also brought more troubling signs from our southern border. Last month closed with Customs and Border Patrol reporting the highest total for migrant apprehensions in nearly two decades.
But while Republican Senators traveled to the border, met with officials, and learned about the reality on the ground, the Administration has preferred to inaccurately blame this recent spike on their predecessors.
Finally, last week the White House rolled out a new budget proposal. I’d been a supporter of Secretary Blinken’s and other officials’ tough talk with the People’s Republic of China. And with Putin again massing forces on Ukraine’s border, Administration officials have been right to warn against further Russian aggression.
This budget outline was going to be one of the first real tests to see if the Administration was prepared to walk the walk, and put sufficient funding toward our military and strategic competition with China and Russia, both of which have invested heavily in military capabilities that threaten our forces.
Unfortunately, for all the rhetoric, the President has asked Congress to break from the positive trajectory of the last four years and instead cut defense spending after inflation.
That’s going backwards on national defense. This would undermine recent bipartisan progress, put the modernization of our Armed Forces in jeopardy, and help China toward their goal of overtaking the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower.
This budget proposal sent a clear signal to the rest of the world. And unfortunately, it suggested to our allies — from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea — that American resolve is far from guaranteed.
On all these issues, there is broad and deep bipartisan interest in working together.
Infrastructure legislation that actually focuses on infrastructure… Voting legislation that actually makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat… And funding legislation that provides the Pentagon with what it needs to keep up with China, Russia, and other adversaries… Legislation on all these topics have a track record of earning overwhelming bipartisan support.
All these issues are ripe for regular-order, bipartisan work if the President and our Democratic colleagues are interested in going about them the right way. But if the Administration decides to reprise their tactics from February and March, if Democrats just declare ‘our way or the highway,’ we’ll know they have chosen to create political controversies rather than make progress for American families.”
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT—Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday discussed with his Philippine counterpart China’s recent positioning of “militia vessels” near the Philippines in the South China Sea.
Austin spoke by phone with Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana while Austin was flying from Washington to Israel to begin an international trip.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Austin and Lorenzana discussed the situation in the South China Sea and the recent massing of Chinese vessels at Whitsun Reef, which has drawn criticism from Manila.
In their phone call, Austin proposed to Lorenzana several measures to deepen defense cooperation, including by “enhancing situational awareness of threats in the South China Sea,” Kirby said. He did not elaborate.
Kirby said last week that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its strike group, as well as the amphibious ship USS Makin Island, are operating in the South China Sea.
The U.S. has no military forces based permanently in the Philippines but sometimes rotates forces to the country under the U.S.-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement.
The recent gathering of Chinese vessels near the Philippines is among moves the United States has criticized as efforts by Beijing to intimidate smaller nations in the region.
A minor walks over others inside a pod for females at the Department of Homeland Security holding facility run by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in Donna, Texas, on March 30, 2021. (Dario Lopez-Mills – Pool/Getty Images) Immigration & Border Security
A top official from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in charge of caring for unaccompanied immigrant children (UC) has described the surge of illegal border crossings as “unprecedented,” while adding that the temporary shelters that have been opened are providing “a crisis standard of care” to the minors.
Cindy Huang, director of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), made the comments in a sworn declaration to a federal court judge in a case related to the 1997 Flores settlement agreement, which sets the principles and guidelines for the care, custody, and release of immigrant children under federal custody.
In her testimony, Huang characterized the ongoing surge of illegal immigrants at the U.S. southern border, particularly a surge in unaccompanied minors, as “historic” and “unprecedented,” while telling the federal judge that she believes the influx is likely to increase in the “coming weeks and months.”
“As an initial matter, it is important to understand that the current influx is not limited to the January-March time period but is an ongoing challenge that will likely increase in severity in the coming weeks and months,” Huang told a federal judge from California (pdf).
Her declaration was made in response to a series of recommendations by an independent monitor and special expert about the conditions at CBP facilities, ORR emergency holding facilities, and other facilities currently caring for migrant children.
“ORR appreciates the Interim Report’s acknowledgement that the U.S. Government is dealing with an unprecedented number of UC apprehended at the border and that ORR has vastly expanded its capacity in a short amount of time,” she said.
Huang’s comments are in contradiction to remarks made by President Joe Biden during his first formal press conference on March 25. Biden sought to downplay the severity of the situation at the U.S. southern border, saying that the influx was driven by normal seasonal patterns rather than his administration’s new policies.
“It happens every single solitary year. There is a significant increase in the number of people coming to the border in the winter months of January, February, March. It happens every year,” Biden said at the time.
Other members of Biden’s administration such as White House press secretary Jen Psaki have also been careful about using the term “crisis” to describe the situation at the border.
In her declaration, Huang describes temporary migrant holding centers, known as Emergency Intake Sites, as “temporary emergency sites” that are “focused on providing a crisis standard of care until [unaccompanied children] can be transferred to a better-resourced setting.”
Her declaration also provides a glimpse into how the continuous flow of illegal immigration is overwhelming the federal agencies tasked with managing the situation.
“[I]t should be noted that EISs are novel temporary facilities implemented with urgency to address the historic number of children arriving at the border,” Huang said. “Given the significant overcrowding at CBP facilities, immediate implementation of EIS facilities was viewed as critical to ensuring the welfare of UC and was prioritized over the development of nuanced policies governing these sites. However, ORR has been working diligently to develop policies standardizing services at EIS facilities, and these forthcoming policies are currently undergoing an expedited clearance process.”
The HHS previously said it is seeking to build capacity for 13,500 beds, with the potential for additional capacity in order to meet what has been a continuous flow of unaccompanied minors coming across the border. The department has opened multiple temporary facilities in the past two weeks.
Among those who crossed illegally into the United States last month were over 18,800 unaccompanied minors, which is double the number of minors who illegally arrived in the United States in February at over 9,300 encounters. This is compared to 5,585 unaccompanied minors in January, and 4,993 unaccompanied minors in December 2020.
Under current law, unaccompanied minors are supposed to be transferred out of CBP care and custody to more permanent housing within 72 hours.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on Huang’s testimony.
A CCTV screenshot showing intruders dressed in black, one wielding a sledge-hammer, damaging printing press equipment at the print shop of the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times on April 12, 2021.(The Epoch Times) China-US News
U.S. lawmakers on April 12 condemned the latest attack on The Epoch Times’ printing press in Hong Kong, saying it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was behind the incident in an attempt to silence reporting that’s critical of the regime.
In the early hours on April 12, four men wearing face masks—two of whom wielded sledgehammers—barged into the printing warehouse and smashed machinery and computers for around two minutes before leaving with a computer.
No staff members were injured during the incident.
The intruders caused extensive damage, and the newspaper’s Hong Kong edition has been forced to suspend its operations for the foreseeable future.
The attack is the fifth time the site has been vandalized since its establishment in 2006, and came less than 18 months after four masked intruders set fire to the same facility during the height of the pro-democracy protests in the city. Those perpetrators were never caught.
“The repeated, violent attacks on The Epoch Times shock the conscience,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement. “Clearly, the Chinese Communist Party and its street thugs cannot abide any media outlet reporting the facts about the Party’s depredations.”
With much of Hong Kong’s media exhibiting pro-Beijing leanings in recent years, the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times is one of the few independent media in the city that covers the CCP’s abuses in mainland China, Hong Kong, and abroad.
“At a time when America’s corporate media have adopted the self-righteous slogan ‘speak truth to power,’ The Epoch Times has the courage to actually do it, and they are paying a high price for sticking to their principles,” Nunes said.
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) described the CCP’s rule as a “thugocracy” that “relies on intimidation, extortion, and violence to suppress freedom and those who strive for truth and self-government by consent.”
“It would be no surprise if the CCP were behind such an attack as they consistently seek to extinguish any light that exposes the dark sea of repression that keeps their illegitimate government afloat,” Perry said in an emailed statement.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) described the attack as “reprehensible.”
“The freedom of the press in Hong Kong is under attack from the Chinese Communist Party,” Banks said in a statement.
Press freedom in Hong Kong has gradually eroded since the city was transferred from British to CCP rule in 1997. Once a bastion of press freedom in Asia, the city has fallen to its current ranking at 80th place in the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, from 18th in 2002.
The slide was a result of “pressure from Beijing,” according to the nonprofit.
Meanwhile, the CCP’s imposition of a draconian national security law has sparked fears of a further tightening of press freedom in the city. The law, which took effect last July, punishes what Beijing deems to be acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Since then, dozens of pro-democracy figures, including media mogul Jimmy Lai, have been charged or convicted under the legislation or similar laws.
Last month, the Chinese regime introduced sweeping changes to the city’s electoral system that drastically reduce democratic representation, while seeking to ensure that “patriots” loyal to Beijing rule the financial hub.
Other lawmakers reacted with a tone of defiance.
“We will not back down to [the CCP’s] intimidation tactics,” Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) said in a statement. “This event should not stop publications like the Epoch Times from speaking out against the CCP’s actions and humanitarian crimes.”
Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) said that if the CCP is found to be behind the attack, it should be held accountable, while Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said in a statement that the attack is another attempt by the regime to “silence the voices of truth-tellers in Hong Kong.”
“I’m praying for my fellow freedom-lovers living under the CCP’s repressive regime,” Babin added. “May they remain steadfast and courageous in their pursuit of the truth!”
Meanwhile, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) called the incident “extremely concerning.”
“Now more than ever, the United States must stand up for democracy and human rights, and fight against Communist China’s aggression and quest for global dominance,” Scott said in a statement.