Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is suing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for what his office said were actions to suppress information related to the pandemic in December 2019.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, claims Chinese authorities’ actions led to harsh effects and deaths in Missouri, Schmitt said on April 21. His state is the first to take legal action against the CCP amid the pandemic.
The virus has “done irreparable damage to countries across the globe, causing sickness, death, economic disruption, and human suffering,” Schmitt said, adding that the “impact of the virus is very real” in Missouri, leading to thousands of infections and numerous deaths.
“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 state attorney general stated. “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.”
CCP officials on Jan. 23 implemented the first containment and quarantine measures for Wuhan and Hubei Province.
Missouri’s lawsuit represents a growing chorus of critics of the CCP’s response and coverup of the virus outbreak.
U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) announced they would allow Americans to bring lawsuits against the CCP.