U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said Friday that the United States has a way to hold China accountable for unleashing COVID-19 upon the world.

Blackburn said this during a tele-town hall with U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty. Hagerty and opponent Manny Sethi both want to replace the retiring U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in the August 6 Republican primary.

During the call, Blackburn said she has talked with the White House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about China holding more than $1 trillion of U.S. debt.

“I think that negotiating that payment, maybe waiving that payment, is something that we have to put on the table. The Wuhan virus has cost us now over $6 trillion. In the state of Tennessee for every one person that contracted the virus we have 33 Tennesseans that have been adversely impacted economically and financially by being furloughed or losing their job or having to take a reduced wage,” Blackburn said.

“At this point, what we need to say to China is ‘Look. You took our jobs. They went to China. You sent us a virus, and we’re going to hold you accountable for this.’ That debt is a great way to do it, to hit them in the pocketbook, if you will, and to hold them to account.”

As The Tennessee Star reported, Blackburn endorsed Hagerty for the U.S. Senate last week.

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