Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) warned that China could use the 2022 Winter Olympics to “collect DNA” from athletes.
Cotton requested more information on how the United States will prepare for the sporting event, and said the 2022 Olympics will pose “unique challenges to the security and privacy of Americans attending.”
“Americans traveling to the Beijing Olympics will likely have their rooms bugged and electronics hacked, their DNA collected, and potentially face arbitrary detention,” Cotton asserted on his Twitter account.
Cotton is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and in his letter wrote that China “considers DNA collection, a vital intelligence collection target.”
“In 2022, thousands of world-class athletes will gather to compete in China. Their DNA will present an irresistible target for the [Chinese Communist Party],” Cotton wrote. “Thus, we should expect that the Chinese government will attempt to collect genetic samples of Olympians at the Games, perhaps disguised as testing for illegal drugs or COVID-19.” he noted.
Given the risks, the senator called for the U.S. to boycott the Beijing Olympics unless “the safety and privacy of our athletes” is guaranteed.
“If the safety, security, and privacy of our athletes cannot be guaranteed, the United States must adopt a total and complete boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics,” the senator said.
The United States has yet to make a statement on a possible boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. However, American diplomatic chief Antony Blinken said Biden wants to prevent China from using the event as a “platform” for its propaganda.
Cotton was one of the first Republican lawmakers to back the theory that COVID-19 emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.