Missouri filed a lawsuit against China on Tuesday demanding the country make up for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil” caused by the novel coronavirus, Fox News reported.
This is the first state to file a lawsuit against China, Fox News reported. It follows 22 Republican lawmakers who asked President Donald Trump’s administration to file a case against China Monday.
“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,” the lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri, reads.
“An appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic. During the critical weeks of the initial outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed crucial information, 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—thus causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.”
Today I filed suit against the Chinese government to seek recovery for the devastating loss of life & economic suffering Missourians face as a result of the #COVID19 pandemic.
The bottom line: they lied to the world & should be held accountable. https://t.co/Q2JgnAHLCH
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) April 21, 2020
Missouri has been hit hard by novel coronavirus, and not just with regards to confirmed cases. The state imposed a shutdown that has cost Missouri around $44 billion, one estimate indicated according to Fox News, who cited officials.
“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 according to Fox.
The lawsuit cites “unlawful and unreasonable acts and omissions” by China as it attempted to cover-up the virus. It adds that the country’s decisions are now “ruining lives and damaging the public order and economy” in Missouri. (RELATED: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Negotiates Deal With South Korea For 50,000 COVID-19 Test Kits)
Tuesday’s lawsuit named the People’s Republic of China, numerous Chinese government agencies and the Chinese Communist Party.