Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Tim Pearce.
A Chinese official slammed Missouri for filing a lawsuit against China and its leaders over the coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang denied allegations that China's response to the virus caused the disaster in a press conference on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press
"This so-called lawsuit is very absurd and has no factual and legal basis at all,"
Geng said. The diplomat asserted that China had handled the outbreak in an "open, transparent, and responsible manner" and said that the U.S. should "dismiss such vexatious litigation."
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced
on Tuesday that the state was suing China, the Chinese Communist Party, and other Chinese officials and institutions for their "sinister campaign of malfeasance and deception"
that resulted in 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,"
Last week, unemployment claims rose to nearly 22 million in the past month since states began issuing strict stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of the virus. The number of claims is a proxy for the number of jobs lost or furloughed because of the pandemic, though the real number is likely much higher as state governments struggle to process the torrent of claims being filed as many slip through the cracks.
Though Missouri Gov. Mike Parson did not issue a stay-at-home order until April 6, workers in his state began feeling effects of the coronavirus and social distancing measures much earlier. From March 15 to April 11, nearly 340,000 workers in Missouri filed
for unemployment, about a 2,700% increase over the same time period up to March 14.
Missouri has reported
nearly 6,000 total cases of the coronavirus and 220 deaths, avoiding the brunt of the pathogen's impact being felt in places such as New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.
"The Chinese government lied to the world about the danger and contagious nature of COVID-19, silenced whistleblowers, and did little to stop the spread of the disease. They must be held accountable for their actions,"
Individual states are typically prevented from suing foreign nations by U.S. law. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) have introduced
a bill into Congress that would exempt states suing over damage caused by the virus, however.
"We need to hold the Chinese government accountable for their malicious lies and coverup that allowed the coronavirus to spread across the world,"
Crenshaw said in a statement
. "The communist regime expelled journalists, silenced whistleblowers, and withheld vital information that delayed the global response to the pandemic. Simply put: their actions cost American lives and livelihoods. This bill will help ensure China's actions are not without consequences."