In an interview on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Cotton claimed he knew early on about the potential danger of the outbreak.
"The Chinese communist party is still lying," he said. "Back in January I knew this virus had the potential to become a worldwide pandemic for two reasons.
"Not because I'm a scientist or epidemiologist but because I could see . . . how the Chinese communist party was lying and . . . the dramatic extreme measures they were taking — like locking in 75 million people into their homes and apartment buildings.
"Those two things simply did not line up," he continued. "You see it again today."