Hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton issued a menacing statement on Thursday vowing that the United States \u0022will hold accountable those who inflicted\u0022 the coronavirus on the world, seeming to suggest that the Chinese government is behind the pandemic.\u0022The Wuhan coronavirus is a grave challenge to our great nation,\u0022 said Cotton, who announced he is temporarily closing his Washington, D.C. office as a precautionary measure. \u0022We are a great people. We rise to every challenge, we vanquish every foe, and we come through adversity even better than before.\u0022In a tweet, the Arkansas Republican left no doubt that his statement was directed at China:Correct. https://t.co/Kmjv3j0g2K— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 12, 2020Critics slammed Cotton for exploiting the deadly pandemic to beat the drums of war as the U.S. struggles to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.\u0022When all you have is a hammer and you\u0026#039;re also a moron, every problem is a nail and you keep hitting your own fingers,\u0022 tweeted Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council.Others similarly condemned Cotton\u0026#039;s warmongering comments:Translation: We have no plan, but rest assured we will emerge a much more vengeful, racist nation. https://t.co/nGR04nW77a— ben schwartz (@benschwartz_) March 12, 2020Tom Cotton is still using this as a way to build support for a war against China. https://t.co/q5rkdsyeA2— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 12, 2020We’re gonna bomb the virus. https://t.co/zBit5zUIRe— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) March 12, 2020Cotton\u0026#039;s statement Thursday was not the first time the senator has indulged in conspiracy theories related to the origins of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 130,000 people and killed nearly 5,000 worldwide.In a Feb. 17 appearance on Fox News, Cotton parroted the unfounded claim that coronavirus may have emerged from a biochemical lab in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak.\u0022We don\u0026#039;t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that,\u0022 Cotton said. \u0022We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China\u0026#039;s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.\u0022Cotton went on to acknowledge that there is \u0022no evidence\u0022 the virus originated in the Wuhan lab.Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, told the Washington Post last month that \u0022there\u0026#039;s absolutely nothing in the genome sequence of this virus that indicates the virus was engineered.\u0022\u0022The possibility this was a deliberately released bioweapon can be firmly excluded,\u0022 said Ebright.