A resolution condemning China’s handling of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 was introduced by House members Tuesday.

The legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., has accused the government of China of making a number of “serious mistakes,” including the censorship of journalists and doctors in the initial stages of the outbreak and also spreading misinformation in order to downplay the virus and actions, which have “heightened” the spread and severity of coronavirus. 

The resolution demands that the Chinese Government "publicly state that there's no evidence that COVID–19 originated anywhere else but China" as a measure for their actions. The resolution also asked the Chinese Government to denounce the theory that the U.S. Army brought the virus to Wuhan, the center of the outbreak.

However, numerous lawmakers criticized the resolution stating that it could put Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans in harm’s way by associating the virus with people of Chinese origin. The coronavirus related attacks on the community have seen a drastic increase in recent times owing to the spread of the virus. Recently a 23-year-old woman was punched in the face by attackers who invoked anti-Asian slogans in New York City. 

"During a pandemic like this, people are afraid and angry, and directing that anger towards China puts AAPIs at risk, as we have already seen with the insults and assaults against them," Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told NBC News in a statement. When Chu contacted banks and Moulton Tuesday, in order to ask them to change or drop the bill, both of them refused.

Moulton conceded that while he understood why people were angry about racism and the history behind it, it was important to point out “what authoritarian regimes are so that when our own president uses the same playbook, we can hold him accountable."

“The president wins when we can't have a frank conversation about China. We need to be able to call out his xenophobia and call out China's attacks against journalists and our troops at the same time," said Moulton, who announced that he would be self quarantining after experiencing some symptoms. 

Banks' message sounded similar to that of Moulton wherein he asked people to not make the mistake of associating the Asian American community or Chinese citizens with the Chinese government’s lies.

"Of course, no one should make the mistake of believing that members of the Asian American community or Chinese citizens are responsible for or associated with the Chinese government's lies. Anyone not able to make that distinction would be guilty of discrimination,” said Banks. 

The public health officials, as well as the World Health Organization, have warned against linking an illness with a location or ethnicity.  

Researchers are working to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus but theoretical papers on unproven cures have sparked confusion among some of the public Researchers are working to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus but theoretical papers on unproven cures have sparked confusion among some of the public Photo: AFP / Thibault Savary