MIAMI, Fla. (FNN) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed two bills into law Monday that seek to “stop and combat foreign influence,” particularly from China, in state affairs, restricting trades and deals and requiring greater disclosure on grant money origins.
“If you look at what has happened with COVID-19, this was a virus that almost certainly leaked out of a lab in China. When you have these folks fall ill, the Chinese Communist Party decided to cover it up. They didn’t ask for any assistance, they tried to cover it up and the world has had to endure this. They need to be held accountable,” said Governor Ron DeSantis during the Miami press conference.
The governor also pointed out American institutions and bureaucrats that would have ties to China and would have tried to “whitewash” Chinese influence over American institutions. He pointed out specifically Florida academics, researchers, tech companies, large media, and Hollywood entertainers.
“There are researchers especially in Florida that are in the pocket of Communist China. If Hollywood runs a movie that communist China doesn’t like it gets censors. Corporate media, big tech also runs interference for China. There is no single entity that exercises a more pervasive influence across a large wave in the US than the Chinese Communist Party,” he added.
Desantis even said the World Health Organization is “in the pocket of China.”
The first bill amends current trade secret laws and creates the crime of trafficking in trade secrets, plus allowing individuals and corporations a greater ability to be compensated in state court for stolen trade secrets.
The second bill requires greater disclosure from Florida researchers regarding the origins of their grant money and forbids any agreement between government agencies and schools and China and six other countries (Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela).
The legislation came after a review from the House Select Committee on the Integrity of Research Institutions in 2020 of Florida’s university-based research programs, where they learned that there around 200 cases under federal investigation where they had been a failure to disclose professional, academic, and business relationships.
Among the Florida institutions under research were the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and the University of Florida.
Desantis added that the law will ban any future Confucius Institute, a Chinese language and cultural learning center, banned from Florida.
Lt. Governor Jeannete Nuñez, also present at the conference, said the Confucius Institute at the University of Florida “was used as an influence for our students against American values.”
“We knew we need to stand up against this, because this is starting to become very dangerous”, Desantis added. “We really hope we will be getting accountability for this. The Chinese Community Party is mainly to blame, but there are American bureaucrats that were trying to hide the origin of this virus.”
“They’re willing to set their hair on fire for voting laws in Georgia, but no mention of the slave labor in China,” he said.
Juan Carlo Rodriguez is a politics and entertainment writer for Florida National News. | email@example.com