Missouri has become the first US State to sue China, alleging that Beijing suppressed formation, arrested whistleblowers and denied the contagious nature of the novel coronavirus that led to the loss of life and caused "irreparable damage" to countries globally.
Filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, the lawsuit was filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt against the Chinese government, the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and other Chinese officials and institutions.
The lawsuit alleges that during the critical weeks of the initial outbreak, the 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, causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.
"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," said Schmitt.
"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," he alleged.
According to the lawsuit, by late December, the Chinese health officials had serious evidence of human-to-human transmission.