WATCH: Assemblyman calls on Trump, Cuomo to declare China’s coronavirus response an act of terror

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) called on President Donald Trump and Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic an act of terror, saying that doing so would allow insurance companies to pay out business disruption claims to small businesses.

Mr. Palumbo, who is seeking to replace Ken LaValle in the State Senate next year, said in an announcement of the press conference that China “knew about the dangers posed by the virus early on, yet did nothing to stop its spread.”

“It is clearly an act of terrorism to intentionally conceal a deadly virus that can infect millions and cause economic devastation around the world,” Assemblyman Palumbo said in his announcement. “With this declaration we can not only sue China for damages, we will also gain access to hundreds of billions of dollars for our businesses under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Fund.”

Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio, who hopes to replace Mr. Palumbo on the Republican slate for Assembly, appeared with the Assemblyman, saying that “businesses are on life support due the virus.”

“They pay high insurance premiums and need the companies insuring them to be there for them. This declaration will help these businesses survive,” she said in a statement.

Check back later for coverage from the press conference.