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Move to take Winter Olympics away from China gathers momentum in conservative circles

Hugh Hewitt: 'They’ve lied about some big things.'

Updated: April 20, 2020 - 5:30pm

A call to take the upcoming Winter Olympic games from China as a penalty for purportedly failing to sufficiently notify the world about a coronavirus outbreak is gaining steam in conservative circles.

Among the first to propose the idea was Hugh Hewitt, a conservative thought leader and syndicated radio talk show host.

Hewitt addressed the issue Friday on his radio show with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“They’ve lied about some big things,” Hewitt said about leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. “I don’t know that I would trust them to put on the Olympic games if they told us it was safe to do it. Do you think the Olympic games scheduled for Beijing in 2022 ought to be moved?” 

Pompeo deferred, saying he’s focused on immediate issues related to the virus and that the Trump administration will “have to take a look at that.” 

However, he argued that the Communist Party has in just the past few years failed to live up to several big responsibilities and promises — including no arms to South Pacific islands and improving human rights in China, a situation that Pompeo called a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

Countries worldwide are raising concerns about whether China provided accurate and timely information about the virus, which the country says was first detected in late 2019 and traced to a wildlife market in the province of Wuhan. 

Additional concerns include whether the World Health Organization also provided inaccurate and tardy information, in an attempt to perhaps help China. 

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, another leading conservative voice, on Monday advanced Hewitt’s idea, which he called “brilliant.” Gingrich suggested the games be held in Torino, Italy — among the regions hardest hit by the virus and site of the 2006 Olympic Winter games. 

“That would be the kind of gesture that would really begin to communicate that the world is fed up with the way the dictatorship operates,” Gingrich said on the Fox News Channel’s morning “Fox & Friends” show. 

He also cited research from the conservative-leaning Hudson Institute and the University of Southhampton, in England, suggesting that China’s response to the virus perhaps cost tens of thousands of lives. 

“The Chinese Communist Party deliberately lied and got its puppet, the World Health Organization, to deliberately lie,” Gingrich, who was in Rome on Monday, said. 

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