Mississippi Attorney General prepares to sue China for “complex cover-up” of deadly COVID-19 coronavirus
Published 10:20 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced Wednesday that she is preparing to file a lawsuit against China to hold the country accountable for “the malicious and dangerous acts that caused death, health injuries, and serious economic loss from the COVID-19 crisis.”
“Too many Mississippians have suffered as a result of China’s cover-up,” Fitch said in a news release. “They must not be allowed to act with impunity. Mississippians deserve justice and I will seek that in court.”
Fitch’s office said the AG will seek damages under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). The case is similar to a case filed earlier this week by the State of Missouri.
Fitch is also urging Mississippi’s Congressional delegation to support the Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable for Infecting Americans Act of 2020, sponsored by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas).
Fitch also wrote Mississippi senators and representatives to ask their support for the legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) that would create a very specific exception in FSIA for Americans to seek such damages, creating an even clearer pathway to victory for the people of Mississippi.
“This bill would give Americans the opportunity to sue China in federal court to recover damages related to death, injury, and economic loss suffered as a result of the Coronavirus,” Fitch said in her letter to the congressional delegation. “China did the world a great injustice by engaging in a complex cover-up of the dangers of this deadly virus. By silencing journalists, doctors, whistleblowers, and others, China exposed millions to the Coronavirus and kept the world from preparing, leading to higher death tolls and more dangerous public health impacts. They must be held to account for the damage they have done.
Fitch said there are ways to sue China under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Fitch said the legislation would give Mississippians an even clearer path to victory over China in the courts. The bill, which creates a very narrow exception to the FSIA, is modeled on the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which passed with overwhelming and bipartisan support in, and would be specific to the COVID-19 crisis.
“Too many have gotten seriously ill or died. Too many have lost their jobs and suffered the significant and lasting economic consequences that follow,” Fitch said. “Our State is experiencing tangible fiscal loss now and that will likely continue into the future. Mississippi families and businesses deserve to be made whole for China’s malicious and dangerous actions.”