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Earlier this week, Leader McCarthy and top House Republicans released their roadmap for Covid-19 accountability, an eight-pillar plan to hold the Chinese Communist Party responsible for their Covid coverup, and deliver transparency and justice to the American people.

Of course, the gravest injustice China must be held accountable for is the tragic loss of 600,000 Americans due to the CCP’s lies and deceit. That’s more than the total number of American lives lost during World War I and World War II combined, and as Leader McCarthy said yesterday, Republicans will make sure China is held responsible.

But today, we wanted to highlight another cost of China’s coverup: the countless businesses forced to close their doors due to the pandemic and the tens of thousands of Americans who lost their livelihoods.

In early April, roughly one year after the virus reached our shores, it was reported that the number of U.S. establishments forced to permanently close was about 200,000 more than the average of recent years, a striking 33% increase.

Tragically, a disproportionate amount of these establishments are small businesses —  mom-and-pop shops with entire families who depend on their success. For many of these businesses, lockdowns and Covid-related restrictions proved to be a death sentence.

Heather Stouffer, owner of Mom Made Foods, gave a heartbreaking account of how the pandemic claimed her business, self-identity, and her family’s security:

“The pandemic ground our supply chain to a halt… Despite our fiercest efforts in response, the circumstances and impact from the pandemic were far beyond control for our small business. It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. There have been many tears shed. The grief involved in closing a business is very real. I’ve loved Mom Made like a third child. My kids have never known me as anything other than the founder of Mom Made.”
Unfortunately, Heather is just one of many small business owners who lost everything because of China’s Covid coverup. Mick Larkin, a karaoke club owner from Texas, described what it was like being forced to close despite following every possible Covid safety precaution, “We did everything we were supposed to do. When [we were] shut down again, and after I put out all that money… I just said, ‘I can’t keep doing this.’”

And according to Yelp’s Economic Impact Report at the end of last year, 60 percent of the businesses that closed because of the pandemic will never open their doors again. That’s roughly 480,000 businesses China’s Covid coverup permanently destroyed.

The effects of small businesses being forced to close en masse extend far beyond their owners, employees, and those reliant upon them. Business closures are one of the primary factors determining the extent of the pandemic’s total economic impact. A recent study suggested that “business closures and partial reopenings due to COVID-19 could cost the U.S. trillions.”

Couple that with President Biden’s misguided economic policies that pay many would-be workers more to stay home through enhanced unemployment insurance than they would make returning to the workforce, and you have a recipe for disaster. Business owners that were able to weather the storm must now deal with the labor shortage created by the President’s tax-and-spend agenda.

For the businesses fortunate enough to survive thanks to the previous administration’s pragmatic economic stewardship, specifically the creation and enactment of the incredibly successful Paycheck Protection Program, the return to normal remains daunting. Small business revenue is down 61 percent from the beginning of last year, and down a staggering 89 percent for the hospitality and leisure industry.

It is incumbent upon our country’s leaders to hold China accountable and deliver transparency and justice for every American whose livelihood has been jeopardized because of China’s Covid coverup. Republicans’ plan will do exactly that.