White House uses Trump's words praising China to slam McCarthy's Biden criticism

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield quoted former President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE to respond to attacks from Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Fifth House Republican comes out in support of bipartisan infrastructure bill Watch live: McCarthy holds briefing with reporters MORE (R-Calif.) suggesting President BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE has not done enough to hold China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The President of the United States has refused to take any action against China for their COVID Coverup," McCarthy wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. "Republicans have a comprehensive plan and a clear message: there will be consequences for harming Americans and misleading the world." 

Bedingfield responded to McCarthy by tweeting a quote from Trump from January 2020. 

"Former President Trump, 1/24/20: 'China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!'" she said. 
 
In a subsequent tweet, Bedingfield mocked the Republican Minority Leader: "Leader McCarthy, 1/24/20: ....." 
 
 
The spat comes as Republicans have sought to undermine Biden's agenda in Congress and blast him for not being more forceful in demanding China be transparent about the origins of the virus. 
 
Over the weekend, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration would not be issuing "threats or ultimatums" to China as it relates to current investigations taking place by world health officials.
 
"One track is an intelligence community assessment that President Biden ordered," Sullivan said. "The second track is an international investigation led by the World Health Organization, for which President Biden has rallied democratic partners to say there must be access to China, to be able to get the data necessary to understand what happened here."
 
Trump, as the pandemic dragged on, grew increasingly critical of China, accusing the county of "releasing the virus" on the world and repeatedly calling it the "China virus" despite admonishments that his rhetoric smacked of prejudice. 
 
Republicans have also spent recent weeks attacking Biden over the economy and rising gas prices. Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanAllies see rising prospect of Trump 2024 White House bid Republican leaders misjudged Jan. 6 committee Watchdog group seeks ethics probe over McCarthy's Jan. 6 comments MORE (R-Ohio) sent a tweet earlier this week suggesting the recent increase in the price of gas was Biden's fault.
 
"You forgot to mention that gas prices are the same now as they were in June 2018. Or that this time last year unemployment was 11.1% -- today it’s 5.8%," White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded. "@POTUS agrees families shouldn’t pay more at the pump – that’s why he’s opposed to GOP proposals to raise the gas tax."