State of Missouri Suing China for Coronavirus Coverup
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a federal lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China on Tuesday, claiming the Chinese government oversaw a coverup of the coronavirus disease that has led to significant damages for Missouri and for the world.
Schmitt’s lawsuit claims “an appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic.”
The Attorney General cites China’s pervasive censorship of the coronavirus disease, most notably refusing to admit that the virus could be transferred from one human to another when it became obvious.
“In mid-January, on or around January 16, despite knowing the risks of doing so, Wuhan leaders hosted a potluck dinner for 40,000 residents, increasing the potential spread of the virus.” Schmitt accuses China of refusing to enact necessary safety measures to deter the spread of the disease. “Defendants allowed these massive public gatherings and massive exodus from Wuhan despite knowing the risks of COVID-19, including the risk of human-to-human transmission.”
The lawsuit cites the wide-ranging economic damage incurred by Missouri as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, which now has the highest unemployment rates the state has ever seen since the Great Depression. More than 6,000 cases of the virus have been diagnosed in the state, and almost 230 people have died of coronavirus.
Securing compensation from China within the U.S. federal court system will be an uphill battle. Foreign nations have wide-ranging protections as a result of foreign immunity, although some of the entities Schmitt is litigating against are nominally private organizations that are de facto Chinese government controlled.
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has proposed federal legislation that would strip legal immunity from the authoritarian communist Chinese government, making them liable to civil claims from coronavirus victims in a manner similar to the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.