UNITED Kingdom — The state of Missouri has sued the Chinese government claiming it ran an ‘appalling campaign of deceit’ amid the coronavirus outbreak the METRO online reported.
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the US District Court for the Eastern State of Missouri.
It alleges the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China and other Chinese government agencies mislead the rest of the world regarding the seriousness of the virus from December 2019 to January 2020.
The lawsuit is seeking damages to make up for ‘the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil’ caused by the outbreak.
The virus has killed over 44,000 Americans as of Tuesday. It has also devastated the US economy, which has seen at least 22 million people file jobless claims in the last month.
That by far the highest figure since records began, amid warnings of a financial crisis so severe it will rival the Great Depression of the 1930s.
‘Covid-19 has done irreparable damage to countries across the globe, causing sickness, death, economic disruption, and human suffering,’ Schmitt wrote in the lawsuit.
‘The Chinese government lied to the world about danger and contagious nature of Covid-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease. They must be held accountable for their actions.’
Schmitt accused multiple Chinese government agencies of taking part in an “appalling campaign of deceit” regarding 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,’ Schmitt continued.
At least 200 have died in Missouri and over 6,000 have been infected by coronavirus as of Tuesday.
The lawsuit is unlikely to have much of an impact because China is protected from such legal actions in the US by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which refers to the fact that a government cannot be sued without its consent.
The Chinese government has not yet responded to the lawsuit, but it did deny an Associated Press story which claimed they wasted six key days before warning the public about the outbreak.
‘Those accusing China of lacking transparency and openness are unfair,’ foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in response to the story.
The Chinese National Health Commission, which is also targeted by the lawsuit, responded by saying China published information regarding the outbreak in an ‘open, transparent, responsible and timely manner,’ which they said was in accordance with ‘important instructions’ issued by President Xi Jinping. (ia/SovereignPH.com)