Scott: China trying to sabotage, slow COVID-19 vaccine development

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) accused China of trying to sabotage the development of a coronavirus vaccine on Sunday without providing details to back up his claims.

"We have got to get this vaccine done. Unfortunately we have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down," Scott said on the BBC's "Andrew Marr Show."

Scott said China "won’t cheer" if the U.S. or England is the first country to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Marr pressed Scott on his comments, asking him what evidence he was referencing.

"China can't stop us developing a vaccine, can it?" Marr asked. 

"It came to our intelligence community. ... I’m on Armed Services, so clearly there's things I can't discuss. ... I get provided information. But there's evidence that they've been trying to either sabotage or slow it down," Scott responded. 

When asked for additional comment from The Hill, a spokesperson for Scott pointed to a bill the senator and other GOP colleagues introduced last month that aims to prevent China from “stealing or sabotaging American COVID-19 vaccine research.”

Scott’s comments came as China released a report defending its response to the virus. The report says China provided information in a timely and transparent manner, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

--This report was updated on June 8 at 12:07 p.m.