Wednesday April 22, 2020
World “lied to” about Covid-19
Missouri is suing Chinese government
Many countries accuse the Chinese leadership of initially covering up the coronavirus outbreak. The accusations are particularly loud from the USA. The state of Missouri now wants to take this dispute to a court. The pandemic could have been prevented, they say.
Missouri is the first US state to sue the Chinese government over the coronavirus pandemic. Missouri’s attorney general Eric Schmitt accused Beijing of “lying” to the world about the lung disease Covid-19 and of having done too little to contain the virus. This has led to illness, death and economic damage worldwide and also in Missouri. The Chinese government was guilty of dangerous behavior and breach of duty, Schmitt said. She must be “held accountable for her actions”. The proceedings could lead to claims for damages against China.
Covid-19 caused “irreparable damage” worldwide, explained the attorney general: illness, death, economic damage and human suffering. “In Missouri, the effects of the virus are very real – thousands infected and many died.” In addition, small businesses would have to close down, and many people would have great difficulty “getting food on the table”.
The lawsuit is directed against, among others, the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party, a number of ministries, as well as the regional government of Hubei province and the city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged. The lawsuit was filed in a US federal court in Missouri.
“During the crucial weeks of the initial outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed critical information, arrested whistleblowers, contested person-to-person transmission despite growing evidence, destroyed crucial medical research, allowed millions of people to be exposed to the virus, and even hoarded protective clothing, “the lawsuit said. This triggered a “global pandemic” that “was unnecessary and could have been prevented”.
In Missouri, more than 6,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 220 people were killed. More than 810,000 infections and more than 43,000 deaths have been confirmed across the United States – more than any other country in the world.
US President Donald Trump and his administration have repeatedly made serious allegations against China in the coronavirus pandemic. Other countries also blame Beijing for a lack of transparency, especially at the beginning of the crisis. China has rejected the criticism of Western states of its crisis management and denies allegations of having covered up the extent of the epidemic at home.