After Missouri’s Attorney General on Tuesday sued the Chinese government over the Coronavirus, claiming Chinese officials are to blame for the global pandemic, the state of Mississippi will do the same. Mississippi's Attorney General Lynn Fitch announcing the move released a statement stating "Mississippians deserve justice"
"Too many Mississippians have suffered as a result of China’s cover-up," Fitch said, according to the Clarion-Ledger, an American daily. "They must not be allowed to act with impunity. Mississippians deserve justice, and I will seek that in court," it added. The lawsuit seeks to ensure that China is held "accountable for the malicious and dangerous acts that caused death, health injuries, and serious economic loss from the COVID-19 crisis."
Earlier this week, Missouri was the first state in the United States to indicate it would seek to punish China for the pandemic. "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," said state Attorney General Eric Schmitt.
The lawsuits come as a growing number of congressional Republicans demand that China be held responsible for the thousands of deaths in the U.S. and for how the American economy has taken a hit from the virus. Of the more than 830,000 cases of the coronavirus reported in the U.S., more than 5,100 are in Mississippi, and 6,100 are in Missouri.
Meanwhile, China has repeatedly been asking the United States to focus on assisting each other instead of pointing fingers or holding anyone accountable. During a press briefing, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that attacking and smearing China wouldn’t win back wasted time or lost lives and asked the US to stop making “irresponsible remarks”.
Public health experts from the WHO & most countries believe there’s no evidence that the virus came from a lab. Conspiracy theories will only obstruct scientific research & hamper cooperation between Chinese & US scientists. pic.twitter.com/xfGy4ZBU5E— Spokesperson发言人办公室 (@MFA_China) April 20, 2020
(With agency inputs)