State of Missouri sues China, Wuhan for coronavirus pandemic
Yes, you read that headline right. Much to the state Democrats’ dismay, Missouri has filed a federal lawsuit against China. This lawsuit follows allegations that China withheld information about COVID-19 in the early stages of the outbreak that would have minimized the damage done in other countries.
Of course, this is an interesting response considering President Trump has recently faced scrutiny for not taking the coronavirus seriously enough in January when he first received briefings on the matter.
This particular lawsuit is strange because states rarely participate in foreign matters against an entire country. While China has been accused of fabricating COVID-19 in a lab, that is not confirmed nor does Missouri truly have the means to take on an investigation of that scale.
Missouri’s response to the pandemic is increasingly confusing. Relaxed stay-at-home orders and the push to open the state back up seem to be a very different tone than the briefing on the lawsuit suggests. The suit demands unspecified compensation for, “for the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil experienced by all Missourians from the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted the entire world,” the Kansas City Star reports. Legal experts have noted the small chance of success for this lawsuit and Missouri democrats see this as a waste of taxpayer money and is more of a political stunt than anything.
The justice department is looking for ways to keep individual states in line in their responses to the pandemic. It is increasingly difficult to ensure all 50 states have a uniform response, yet Attorney General William Barr is threatening to pursue legal action against any governors who are pushing the boundaries of what the federal government deems acceptable at this time. It is worth wondering whether Missouri will face repercussions for this lawsuit, either on a national or global scale.