Washington, 21 April 2020 (dpa/MIA) – The attorney general of Missouri launched a lawsuit against the Chinese government and the ruling Communist Party, alleging efforts to “suppress information” about the new coronavirus caused the state harm.
The suit, filed in a US court, charges that China was responsible for “causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt noted in particular the economic damage caused by the coronavirus, as unemployment skyrockets.
The suit blames China for silencing whistleblowers who tried to issue a warning about human-to-human contagion, while also blaming Beijing for not shutting down its country more quickly.
The legal action comes on top of other private suits in the US against China.
Broadcaster ABC also reported that three citizens in New York filed a lawsuit against the World Health Organization, saying the global body colluded with China on covering up the pandemic, echoing allegations made by President Donald Trump.
The White House put a halt on funding to the WHO, while the organization denies any wrongdoing.
Despite bipartisan concerns in the US over China’s handling of the initial stages of the outbreak, Democrats charge that Trump also downplayed the severity of the virus and failed to correctly prepare the United States.
Shortages of testing and crucial medical gear have plagued the US response. The country has 42,400 fatalities, the highest number in the world.
A group of 22 Republican lawmakers has also called for Trump to take legal action against China at the International Court of Justice.