Missouri has filed a lawsuit against China on Tuesday morning, accusing the communist regime of engaging in “deceit” that caused the coronavirus outbreak and is seeking damages for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil,” according to a report.
Fox News reports:
The suit in the Eastern District of Missouri follows at least seven federal class-action suits that have been filed by private groups, with one filed in Florida saying that China knew “COVID-19 was dangerous and capable of causing a pandemic, yet slowly acted, proverbially put their head in the sand, and/or covered it up in their own economic self-interest.” Officials told Fox News that outside of the health consequences of the coronavirus — Missouri has confirmed 5,963 cases of the virus and 215 deaths as of Tuesday morning — the economic shutdown the state imposed to reduce the spread of the disease has cost Missouri about $44 billion.
The text of the lawsuit lays the blame for the pandemic’s consequences squarely at China’s feet.
“The repeated unlawful and unreasonable acts and omissions of” China, the Missouri suit claims, “have been injurious to—and have significantly interfered with—the lives, health, and safety of substantial numbers of Missouri residents, ruining lives and damaging the public order and economy of the State of Missouri.”
The lawsuit follows another Fox News report revealing that over 20 Republican lawmakers have requested Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Pompeo to bring a case against China to the International Court of Justice (ICIJ) over their response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real – 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,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement.
Other Republicans, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), have introduced legislation that would allow Americans to sue China in court to recover damages caused by China’s actions. In a Tuesday interview with SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily, Cotton expanded on his proposed bill while outlining other methods to hold China accountable.
“Our legislation is just one way we will hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for unleashing this pandemic on the world. There are many other things we must do,” Cotton told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily on Tuesday. “I have legislation that would bring pharmaceutical manufacturing out of China and back to the United States by giving incentives to build new manufacturing plants here and also cutting off Chinese imports, as well. We can also consider sanctions against Chinese officials, similar to what we do to those who violate human rights, if they have covered up information that has led to public health emergencies.”
“One thing I would encourage all of your listeners to do is boycott China. Unfortunately, it’s not possible in every case,” he added. “There are some goods that are made only in China or that’s the only place you can get them in the American market. But every time you have a chance — you’re shopping for clothes, kids toys, electronics, or anything else — if you have the chance to buy American or at least not buy Chinese, then I would encourage all your listeners to do that.”
President Donald Trump warned on Saturday that China could face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic.
“It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing. “And now the whole world is suffering because of it.”
Trump was asked whether China should suffer consequences over the pandemic which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December and has left more than 157,000 people dead around the world.
“If they were knowingly responsible, certainly,” he said. “If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake.”
“But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences,” Trump said.
“Was it a mistake that got out of control or was it done deliberately?” he asked. “That’s a big difference between those two.
“In either event they should have let us go in,” he said. “We asked to go in early. And they didn’t want us in. I think they knew it was something bad and they were embarrassed.”
“They said they’re doing an investigation,” the president continued. “So let’s see what happens with their investigation. But we’re doing investigations also.”
The Trump administration has said it doesn’t rule out that the novel coronavirus was spread — accidentally — from a laboratory researching bats in Wuhan.
The AFP contributed to this report.