Missouri sues China for 'appalling campaign of deceit and concealment' over coronavirus

22 April 2020, 06:48

Chinese President  Xi Jinping is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China,
Chinese President Xi Jinping is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China,. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The US state of Missouri claims they are suing the Chinese government over Covid-19 alleging China is to blame for the global pandemic and that they "lied to the world."

The state is the first to file legal action against China, accusing the country of being responsible for the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and seeking damages to make up for "the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil" resulting from the disease.

In the lawsuit, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt alleges China did little to stop the spread of the virus.

Mr Schmitt claims Missouri residents have suffered possibly tens of billions of dollars in economic damages.

The suit in the Eastern District of Missouri claims the country conducted an "appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction" which made the spread of the pandemic worse.

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Court documents also claim during the initial weeks of the 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."

The suit claims China caused a "global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable."

The civil lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, is against the Chinese government, Chinese Communist Party and other Chinese officials and institutions.