May 15, 2020/Press

The Glaring Hole In Tillis’ 18 Point Plan: He and Trump Are Weak on China

Senator Tillis yesterday released an 18-point plan on China that’s nothing more than a desperate attempt to rewrite the Trump administration’s failed effort to hold China accountable. While Tillis’ plan is full of election year bluster, there’s one glaring problem: he and President Trump have been weak on China from the beginning.

President Trump has repeatedly applauded China’s handling of the coronavirus while Senator Tillis has been a loyal – or silent – cheerleader every step of the way:

  • Trump applauded China 15 times from January through mid-April “as coronavirus was spreading across the globe.” During that time, Tillis applauded Trump for “taking every step he can” to ensure Americans’ health and safety during the pandemic.
  • The administration shipped 18 tons of PPE and other medical equipment to China and other countries while North Carolina medical workers were in need. Tillis said nothing about the administration’s move.
  • While Tillis is now calling for “investigations and reforms” at WHO, Tillis said nothing when Trump repeatedly praised the World Health Organization, saying “they’re fantastic” and “have been working hard and very smart.
  • The administration allowed more than 40,000 people to fly from China and through “spotty” screening procedures after instituting a sham travel ban.
  • The Trump administration ended a pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses and axed a CDC expert job in China. Tillis said nothing.

Tillis only started talking about China when Mitch McConnell told him: “don’t defend Trump.” Tillis’ new 18-point plan is nothing more than a warmed over rehash of talking points from national Republicans and Mitch McConnell.

“Senator Tillis is desperate to distract from the administration’s failed response to the coronavirus and unable to stand on his own, so now he’s spinning reheated talking points from Mitch McConnell as a ‘plan,’” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “This embarrassing election year bluster would be more believable if Tillis ever spoke out against President Trump’s applause for the Chinese government or his administration’s effort to ship PPE to China while North Carolina was in need. He didn’t, which goes to show that yet against Senator Tillis is too weak to be an independent voice for North Carolina.”