With unprecedented news in the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine, Senate Republicans announced this past week that they have agreed to a framework for a second pandemic aid package. This as the U.S. closed a Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas following a series of digital attacks on American intellectual property, while the Trump administration doubled down on commitment to send federal officers to protect federal buildings as demonstrations continue across the country.
While infections surge in many parts of the country, the growing promise of a vaccine had lawmakers like, Representative Peter King, optimistic. He told The Cats Roundtable that America has “always found a way in the past to work our way out of whatever problems affect us,” and that we have a reason to “be more up-beat.”
“Considering all the things that our country has gone through, but we stay strong and keep going forward,” he said.
King’s tone changed however, as he discussed the growing demonstrations around Federal buildings, suggesting that the protests were being orchestrated “nationwide” by left-wing radical groups like anti-fa.
He condemned leftist groups for perverting protests for the death of George Floyd into wider unrest. Demonstrations in cities like Portland have given way to weeks of routine clashes between federal officers and protesters, and violence; New York and Chicago have many worried about the erosion of law and order across the country.
“You saw these demonstrations basically arising all over the country, even in cities that had no racial troubles at all,” King said. “I don’t want to jump the gun on this, but I think it’s important that we really find out who’s behind this, because God knows when the next situation’s going to develop.”
King called the death of George Floyd “absolutely horrible,” but noted there has been an uptick in violence around protests, often leading to the death of innocent bystanders, including children.
“These are horrible horrible incidents, which too often the media seems to pass over and doesn’t realize these people are more than just collateral damage to demonstrations and riots and a movement,” King told The Cats Roundtable. “They are real human beings and families that have been devastated.
King changed the topic to the recent digital attacks on American companies in recent weeks, including attempts to steal vaccine research. King, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said that while Russia is “still a threat,” the real challenge to America now and in the future is China.
“China and Russia are determined to create problems here in the United States,” he said. “But the long term threat, the major one, is China, both economically and militarily.”
Though King is set to retire following his 14th term, he isn’t doing so to shy away from the challenges facing the country. He told The Cats Roundtable that he still plans to “remain a public voice” on these and other issues, but his family was beckoning.
“I’m certainly going to miss being in Congress—it was, apart from my family, the greatest experience I’ve ever had. I like to think I made some contributions to the country,” King said.
The Congressman’s parting words focused on his future beyond the halls of Congress, but also rang true for where the America he helped steer could be headed, too.
“Whatever happens, happens,” King said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a whole new chapter—I hope it’s a long chapter.”
Listen to the interview below