Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

To date, it’s estimated that more than 85,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus. We owe it to these Americans to let the pandemic also kill the last vestiges of the notion that China is our friend.

Since the 1970s, Washington and Wall Street have believed that giving China a stake in the international system would lead to a China that respected the rule of law and was moving toward democracy. While many foreign policy experts pursued this counterfactual pipedream, Beijing was building its economy on the backs of American workers, developing a world-class military, and seeking in countless other ways to displace the United States as the dominant power in Asia.

The coronavirus starkly demonstrates just how wrong this theory was.

NEWT GINGRICH: CHINA LET CORONAVIRUS SPREAD – COMMUNIST PARTY SHOULD BE HELD LEGALLY LIABLE AND PAY DAMAGES

Let’s face facts. Senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership knew about the coronavirus – knew that left unchecked it would become a global pandemic – and had enough evidence to suspect human-to-human transmission was possible well before they let the world know.

Moreover, Beijing’s failures to halt international travel out of Wuhan created a pandemic that has infected 4.5 million people across the globe. And as time goes on, we keep learning that the CCP knew more, and earlier, about the virus, and they hid that knowledge from the rest of the world.

More from Opinion