The state of Missouri has filed a lawsuit against the Chinese government over the coronavirus outbreak, alleging that the nation's officials are responsible for the global pandemic that has infected more than 2.5 million people and claimed over 177,400 lives across the globe.
The state of Missouri Vs. China
Missouri became the first US state to file a lawsuit against China on Tuesday, holding the country responsible for the deadly virus outbreak and seeking damages to make up for "the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil" the state has suffered due to the disease.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court, alleges the Xi Jinping-led government lied about the dangers of the virus and did not do enough to contain its spread. In addition to damages, the state is looking to hold the Chinese regime responsible for its alleged actions to exacerbate the coronavirus pandemic and bring forward further facts about how China handled the virus, and shed light on the origins of the deadly pathogen.
"An appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic," the suit reads. "During the critical weeks of the initial outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed crucial information, arrested whistle-blowers, 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—thus causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable."
The suit also makes numerous claims of wrongdoing by China and the other defendants related to the Chinese government it seeks to hold responsible, including an "emerging theory on the origin of the virus ... that it was released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was studying the virus."
Legal trouble for China
The lawsuit follows at least seven class-action lawsuits that have been filed against China by private groups, with one filed in Florida saying that China knew COVID-19 was capable of causing a pandemic but still acted slowly and "put their head in the sand," covering it up to protect its own economic interests.
On Monday, 22 Republican lawmakers requested that the Trump administration file a case against China in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the country's actions during the pandemic.
Coronavirus situation in Missouri
Missouri has reported 5,963 cases of coronavirus and 215 deaths as of Tuesday and the economic shutdown that has been imposed by the state in order to contain the spread has cost the state an estimated $44 billion.
"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," Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement obtained by Fox News.