The US state of Missouri filed a civil lawsuit against China seeking an unspecified amount in reparations accusing Chinese leadership of taking insufficient action to stop the pandemic. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said in a statement that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak is very real in Missouri with thousands infected and several fatalities. He added that the government the Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19.
“Today I filed suit against the Chinese government to seek recovery for the devastating loss of life & economic suffering Missourians face as a result of the #COVID19 pandemic. The bottom line: they lied to the world & should be held accountable,” tweeted Schmitt.
Missouri has reported nearly 6,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 220 deaths, comparatively lower than worst-hit states like New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. However, the lawsuit has strengthened the calls of punishing China for “unleashing” the virus on the world and Trump’s campaign to focus on Beijing’s role amid criticism of his administration’s mishandling.
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
Geng said that the US should focus more on domestic containment and international cooperation instead of attacking and blaming China for the virus outbreak. He added that the international community should band together to cooperate instead of pointing fingers at each other and demanding compensation.
“The virus is a common enemy to all mankind. It can emerge at any time and in any place across the world. Like other countries faced with the coronavirus, China is a victim, not a perpetrator or an accomplice,” said Geng.
(Image credit: AP)