The Strategist

US Missouri sues China over COVID-19

04/22/2020 - 03:42

The US state of Missouri filed a lawsuit against Beijing in connection with the COVID-19, and is seeking damages to compensate for the "enormous human losses, human suffering, and economic turmoil" caused by the pandemic, reports The Hill.

"COVID-19 has done irreparable damage to countries around the world, causing illness, death, economic turmoil and human suffering," reads a statement published by the Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt.

"The Chinese government lied to the whole world about the dangers and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced informants and did little to stop the spread of the disease. They should be responsible for their actions," he said.

The Attorney General added that the impact of the virus is very real in Missouri - thousands of people were infected, many died, and small businesses shut down.

In addition to redress, the Missouri lawsuit requires Beijing to be officially held accountable for allegedly concealing the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent treatment of an outbreak within the borders of China.

“During the critical weeks of the first outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed critical information, arrested whistleblowers, refused to acknowledge the transmission of the virus from person to person in the face of a growing body of evidence, destroyed critical medical research, allowed millions of people to be exposed to the virus, and even stored personal protection, thereby causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable," continues Schmitt.

Beijing has been harshly criticized by lawmakers in Washington and throughout the United States for downplaying the initial scale of the outbreak in China. It is believed that an earlier warning could help other countries prepare better.

Nearly two dozen Republican lawmakers demanded that the administration of US President Donald Trump refer the case against China to the International Court of Justice. Several private groups have also initiated their own lawsuits against China over the coronavirus.