China is fully responsible for the severity of the pandemic, a lawsuit filed in Missouri’s Eastern District Court alleges. On Tuesday, Missouri became the first American state to sue the People’s Republic for the massive coronavirus related damages, including “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil.”
First lawsuit filed by a state against China
This is the first lawsuit filed by a state government seeking damages from China for all the chaos they caused. Missouri suffered massive Covid-19 damages, with nearly 6,000 confirmed cases and 215 deaths to date. The economic impact of shutting down to control the spread has cost a whopping $44 billion, so far.
“In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real.” Attorney General Eric Schmitt asserts. “thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table.”
China is clearly to blame. Their “repeated unlawful and unreasonable acts and omissions have been injurious to — and have significantly interfered with — the lives, health, and safety of substantial numbers of Missouri residents.”
They covered it up too
Missouri officials explain in their lawsuit that recovering the money is only part of the plan. They mostly want to hold China’s leadership accountable for their actions. Not only did they force the deadly disease on unsuspecting people around the entire world, they made it worse by trying to cover it up too. Now, even worse, they’re trying to hide the origins of the virus from the public.
“An appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic,” the lawsuit argues. “During the critical weeks of the initial outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public.” The global pandemic was “unnecessary and preventable,” the lawyers insist.
Not only did they suppress “crucial information,” they “arrested whistleblowers, denied human-to-human transmission in the face of mounting evidence, destroyed critical medical research, permitted millions of people to be exposed to the virus, and even hoarded personal protective equipment.”
The suit filed by Missouri names The People’s Republic of China as the main defendant, with a variety of Chinese government agencies also listed. They especially were sure to name the Chinese Communist Party. That way, they can get around a technicality in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which prevents Americans from suing foreign governments. There are other exceptions to the rule which apply as well, but that makes things much easier.
Not the only lawsuit in progress
There have been at least seven class-action lawsuits already filed at the federal level by private groups, including one by Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman. The watchdog group filed international criminal charges against not only China, but Xi Jinping personally. They allege “crimes against humanity and genocide by development of outlawed biological warfare weapons for their role in the production and stockpiling of Covid-19.”
As an action filed in Florida alleges, China was well aware that “COVID-19 was dangerous and capable of causing a pandemic.” Once it escaped, they were extremely slow to react. China they say, either “proverbially put their head in the sand,” or they “covered it up in their own economic self-interest.”
Attorneys for the United States are also preparing a case they plan to file against China in the International Court of Justice. That move is backed by at least 22 Republican House members.