On Tuesday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced the state of Missouri was filing a lawsuit against the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party, and other Chinese officials and institutions for the actions they took that triggered deaths and economic chaos across Missouri. In the lawsuit, Schmitt writes bluntly, “This COVID-19 pandemic is the direct result of a sinister campaign of malfeasance and deception carried out by Defendants.”
Citing Alfred L. Snapp & Son, Inc. v. Puerto Rico, Schmitt pointed out the legitimacy of his lawsuit: “As a sovereign State, Missouri has ‘a quasi-sovereign interest in the health and well-being—both physical and economic—of its residents in general.’ … A state like Missouri, through its Attorney General, may act as ‘a representative of the public’ in ‘complaining of a wrong which, if proven, limits the opportunities of her people [and] shackles her industries.’”
He also explained why the Chinese Communist Party was not immune from prosecution:
Defendant People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”) is a communist nation in Asia. Defendant Communist Party of China (“CPC” or “Communist Party”) is the sole governing party within China, and the Communist Party’s General Secretary becomes the president of the PRC. On information and belief, the Communist Party is not an organ or political subdivision of the PRC, nor is it owned by the PRC or a political subdivision of the PRC, and thus it is not protected by sovereign immunity.
COVID-19 has done irreparable damage to countries across the globe, causing sickness, death, economic disruption, and human suffering. 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. The Chinese government lied to the world about the 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.
The lawsuit delineates the issue further:
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 (“PPE”)—thus causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.
The lawsuit continues with more regarding the efforts by the Chinese government to suppress information regarding the coronavirus:
When their actions began to kill hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, Defendants sought to minimize the consequences, engaging in a coverup and misleading public relations campaign by censoring scientists, ordering the destruction and suppression of valuable research, and refusing cooperation with the global community, all in violation of international health standards.
Schmitt also noted that the Chinese government did not act to stop the spread of the virus soon enough:
While denying human-to-human transmission, Chinese officials took little to no steps to contain the outbreak. By January 13, the Chinese government was aware of spread to Thailand. For the next week, they began treating COVID-19 as a serious and contagious virus without advising the public. During that time, millions of people traveled through Wuhan, and many thousands were infected, making a worldwide outbreak almost inevitable. A potluck event for 40,000 people went forward in Wuhan on January 16. The Chinese government took no serious steps to contain the outbreak until January 23 —when it was far too late.
Further, “According to data gathered by The New York Times, nearly 175,000 individuals left Wuhan on January 1 alone to travel for the Lunar New Year. The Chinese government also continued with New Year celebrations, despite the risk for potential further infections.”
PJ Media noted, “According to unpublished, unconfirmed Chinese government reports seen by the South China Morning Post, the first recorded case of the coronavirus dates to November 17, 2019, weeks before The Lancet‘s claim that the first recorded case came on December 1. By December 8, the SCMP documents recorded between 1 and 5 new cases. By December 27, the SCMP documents showed 181 confirmed cases, and a friend of coronavirus whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang recalled that his medical department first reported the new outbreak to the Wuhan Center for Disease Control on the 27th.”