Missouri trying to sue China over Covid-19

The US is ramping up attempts to sue China over the over the Covid-19 coronavirus, with Missouri the firsy state to file a suit.

Fox News: Missouri files suit against China for ‘enormous’ consequences of coronavirus ‘deceit’

Missouri became the first state to file a lawsuit against China on Tuesday, accusing the country of being responsible for the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and seeking damages to make up for “the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil” resulting from the disease.

The suit in the Eastern District of Missouri follows at least seven federal class-action suits that have been filed by private groups, with one filed in Florida saying that China knew “COVID-19 was dangerous and capable of causing a pandemic, yet slowly acted, proverbially put their head in the sand, and/or covered it up in their own economic self-interest.”

It also comes on the heels of 22 Republican lawmakers on Monday requesting that the Trump administration bring a case against China to the International Court of Justice (ICIJ) for the country’s actions during the pandemic.

The text of the lawsuit lays the blame for the pandemic’s consequences squarely at China’s feet.

The suit makes numerous claims of wrongdoing by China and the other defendants related to the Chinese government it seeks to hold responsible, including an “emerging theory on the origin of the virus … that it was released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was studying the virus.”

The suit is based on ‘an emerging theory? That sounds bizarre, particularly as that ‘theory’ is far from proven.

But U.S. officials and the intelligence community have confirmed to Fox News that they have taken the possibility of the coronavirus being man-made or engineered inside China as some sort of bioweapon off the table and have ruled it out at this point.

Officials say the Missouri suit seeks to present good-faith claims about actions China likely took that led to the pandemic. They also emphasize the Chinese government took other actions to worsen the spread of the coronavirus that have been proven with near certainty.

Because Donald Trump said? Even if they can be proven, responsibilities could be complex. Maybe it would be easier to just sue someone in the US.

Why Trump Deserves More Blame for the U.S. Coronavirus Crisis Than the WHO or China

The United States now claims nearly one-third of the world’s COVID-19 cases, making it the center of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of leaning on the World Health Organization for support, last week President Trump announced that he would be halting the U.N. agency’s funding, accusing it of bungling its early response to the coronavirus.

“This is lunacy. Truly,” responded Jeremy Konyndyk, a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development who previously served as the director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, where he coordinated the country’s humanitarian responses to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and the war in Syria.

Fundamentally, this is not about what WHO did or did not do. It’s not about what WHO did or did not say. What it’s about is turning WHO into a political scapegoat to distract from this administration’s failures to prepare.

WHO’s own information, WHO’s level of alarm, WHO’s characterization of the risk, were always well out ahead of the Trump administration. At a time when the U.S. government was still saying the risk to the American public was low, WHO was saying that this absolutely had pandemic potential.

The administration is clearly grasping for anything it can to distract from its own poor performance. If they can blame this on WHO, or if they can blame this on a lab accident in China, that somehow alleviates them of their responsibility. That is very clearly the play.

The lab thing is a useful target for them because it can’t be disproven.

But at the same time, the U.S. government is obviously doing everything it can to spin this up as a story. The National Security Council is reportedly pushing the intelligence community very hard to try and find anything that would suggest that the lab was the origin.

We have the administration trying to put the story out into the ecosystem, pushing it through favorable media outlets and personalities on the basis of very little. If they had something stronger, we would see it. They wouldn’t be sitting on it.

And now Missouri has taken this and is using it in a lawsuit.

I don’t know how a US state can sue China. If they can this could open a big can of worms. Many Covid cases on New Zealand came from the US. Italy was another source.  But proving where actual damages were caused could be difficult.

There’s a lot still being discovered about the spread of Covid in the US.

Autopsies find first U.S. coronavirus death occurred in early February, weeks earlier than previously thought

Tissue samples taken during autopsies of two people who died at home in Santa Clara County, Calif., tested positive for the virus, local health officials said in a statement. The victims died on Feb. 6 and Feb. 17, respectively.

Initially, the nation’s earliest coronavirus fatality was thought to have occurred on Feb. 29, in Kirkland, Wash., a suburb of Seattle that rapidly became a hot spot. In March, health officials there linked two Feb. 26 deaths to covid-19, the disease caused by the new virus.

The Santa Clara County fatalities push back the earliest coronavirus-related fatality by weeks, with the new findings potentially altering the timeline of the U.S. outbreak.

Even if China can be sued over Covid there’s a lot yet to be discovered or proven.

If somehow China could be found liable, this would set a bad precedent for any future viruses that could emerge from anywhere in the world – and finding where they originate could be impossible to prove. But if there was a risk of huge damages for a country that first discovered a virus, it could deter it from revealing it, or at least cover up evidence.

Missouri and the US would be better concentrating on minimising the effects of Covid. Maybe they are concerned about lawsuits being filed against states or against the federal government for not doing enough soon enough. But going to court won’t do anything to deal with the virus.

And if Trump pushes states to reopen for business too soon will he be liable for legal action?

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41 Comments

  1. Trump promoting someone praising him and blaming the media…

    … claiming (some or one) media reported things like “doctors are saying this isn’t much more deadly than the flu” (in January).

    Trump was still comparing Covid to the flue (and road deaths) in late March – TRUMP’S DEADLY MISTAKE IN COMPARING CORONAVIRUS TO FLU

    THE PRESIDENT OF the United States compared the coronavirus to the flu this week, and the new virus that has already stricken more than 55,000 people and killed more than 800 across the country came out looking relatively innocuous.

    Trump, who has repeatedly compared Covid-19 to the flu as the virus has spread throughout the U.S., has changed that. After emphasizing the relatively small threat posed by the virus, he said yesterday on a Fox News TV special that he hopes to have the country “opened up and just raring to go” by Easter — a decision that public health experts warn would be disastrous.

    And over the last few days Trump has been encouraging an organised protest movement pressuring state governments to relax lockdowns. At 46,000 deaths and a jump of 2,800 in a day yesterday this is very risky behaviour from the president and his promoters.

    Rep Dan Crenshaw is a Republican politician of course.

    Reply
  2. Patzcuaro

     /  23rd April 2020

    First death in the US from Covid-19 was 3 weeks earlier on 6th February in California rather than 27th in Washington..

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/22/coronavirus-killing-americans-weeks-earlier-than-thought

    Looks like the US would be better off sorting its own health system out rather than suing others for their failings.

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  23rd April 2020

      Actual 29th February was original first official death. Several deaths in California in February fell outside the testing criteria at the time and the people died at home. Confirmation coming from autopsies. It looked like there was community transmission in California in late January.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  23rd April 2020

      What makes you think the same is not true in NZ?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  23rd April 2020

        We would have had much more cases earlier than we did…exponential growth followed confirmation of our first cases…but of course too many cases are fake numbers and too few are fake to you …as you want everything to fit your views.

        Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd April 2020

    There will be a backlash against China on multiple fronts – political, economic and legal. To some extent the virus is just the trigger point but the devastation it has caused is real and intolerable. The Chinese Communist Party still has its nation by the throat but not the rest of the world.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  23rd April 2020

      So how will National fund their election campaign now then?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        I doubt they will be as short of funds as Labour, B. Though expect to see the Govt putting out campaign material disguised as departmental information campaigns.

        Reply
    • A backlash against China and on multiple fronts? No argument there, Xi has been dishonest with the rest of the world. And in time questions need to be asked about how the WHO can improve its efforts as well.

      But there also needs to be a bigger backlash against the cretinous right-wing populists who have spectacularly failed and recklessly endangered their populations by not responding quickly enough to the crisis.

      Trump stands out as the worst offender, but also Johnson and Bolsonaro for their failed ‘herd immunity’ experiments. None of them understand that science and welfare are at the heart of this crisis. Arrogant self-confidence doesn’t compensate for deep stupidity.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        Well at least in Sweden and the UK the herd immunity policy came from the public health experts rather than the politicians, Ishmael. Then the politicians over-ruled them in the UK but not on Sweden.

        So exactly whose arrogance and self-confidence should we target?

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  23rd April 2020

          Sweden doesnt have herd immunity policy either , they just think Swedes are special when it comes to following guidelines to the letter
          BTW they had unemployment at 7.4% before the virus arrived so they are paragons of social and economic planning too

          Reply
  4. Lindsey Graham warns Georgia’s move to restart economy may be ‘too fast too soon’

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on Tuesday cautioned Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on his decision to reopen a portion of the state’s economy too quickly in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

    Kemp announced Monday that certain businesses — including gyms, barbershops and nail salons — could reopen Friday, followed by restaurants being allowed to resume dine-in service on April 27.

    “I support what South Carolina Governor @henrymcmaster announced yesterday — a small reopening of our state’s economy with a focus on social distancing,” Graham posted. “I worry that our friends and neighbors in Georgia are going too fast too soon.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/lindsey-graham-georgia-restart-economy-too-fast-too-soon

    Reply
    • Forget that sniveling twat Graham… Trump himself has thrown Kemp under the bus:
      “I disagree strongly, with this order to reopen some facilities.”

      Trumps allies always forget that he’s loyal to no one.

      Reply
  5. Lockdowns have obviously had an impact on business, but business was plummeting anyway, and won’t pick up again straight away.

    Why politicians can’t just restart the economy

    As a piece in the Dispatch puts it, “Most people just aren’t going to start piling into movie theaters and restaurants again until they’re confident they won’t be bringing a superbug back home with them.”

    Here’s a bit of evidence: “It wasn’t until March 15 that Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati and New York City all officially announced that their bars and restaurants would be limited to takeout orders and delivery. But the day before those orders were announced, sales at restaurants in those cities had already dropped more than half from the same date a year earlier…Why? Because people were already choosing to stay home based on what they had learned about the pandemic regardless of what the government mandated.”

    In a Gallup poll in early April, 71 percent said that if government lifted restrictions and businesses and schools were reopened, they would “wait and see what happens with the coronavirus before resuming” their daily activities. Another 20 percent said they would resume immediately, while 10 percent said they would continue to limit their contacts with other people indefinitely.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/why-politicians-cant-just-restart-the-economy

    It is likely to be similar here.

    Reply
    • Given the numbers of cases here, I doubt it. Fewer than 1 in 10,000 at the moment; no community transmission; what are the chances ? The paranoid who wear the sort of masks that one would expect to see in a nuclear disaster may be terrified of going out; I won’t be.

      Reply
  6. Pink David

     /  23rd April 2020

    “Lockdowns have obviously had an impact on business, but business was plummeting anyway, and won’t pick up again straight away.”

    The house was at risk of burning down, so why not just torch it first.

    Reply
    • It wasn’t just at risk of burning. It was engulfed no matter what we did to try to minimise the oxygen.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        50% down is damaged but not destroyed considering it could have gone up or down from there depending on both official and private responses and actions. The market would certainly have taken its own actions in response to client demands for safety had it been allowed to do so.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  23rd April 2020

      because as Bridges keeps saying the…cure is worse than the…medicine.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  23rd April 2020

      “The house was at risk of burning down, so why not just torch it first.”
      all political parties in parliament supported the full level 4 1 month lockdown.
      Bridges and Seymour were amoung the lockdown warriors

      I see Singapore is now caught in second wave after they relaxed after going the parial way

      https://www.businessinsider.com.au/coronavirus-singapore-lost-control-second-wave-2020-4?r=US&IR=T
      Singapore’s quick and efficient response was widely hailed as a success story in the early stages of the world’s coronavirus outbreak.
      While other countries were imposing strict lockdowns, the city-state implemented a partial lockdown.
      But in the last few weeks, it has witnessed the second wave in new coronavirus cases,
      reportedly coming from clusters found in cramped migrant dormitories.
      Tens of thousands of migrant workers, who live in cramped dorm rooms, have been asked to quarantine in reportedly unhygienic conditions.
      The rise in new infections has led the government to clamp down on people’s movement even further, announcing this week that stricter measures would be put in place until at least June 1.

      Reply
  7. duperez

     /  23rd April 2020

    There’s a lot still being discovered about the spread of Covid in the US? There’s a lot being discovered about Covid.

    At one end we had the notion in some senses put out as, “I’m crook, I’ll open the bathroom cabinet, get a pill and take it and I’ll come right.” The Trump version had the click of the fingers vaccine, the turn of a switch, instant coffee solution.

    Unfortunately at the other end and in between were all sorts of other things. As well as the science of the actual virus there were the incidental little things like epidemiology. Apparently there are other ologies too.

    Expecting someone to just push a button and it’s problem solved? And it was the right button at the right time? All that’s just to do with the illness not the application, implementation and implication of public strategies to handle and mitigate effects.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/22/coronavirus-blood-clots/

    Reply
  8. “We don’t know” if it works and “we are better off waiting for the randomised trials” were the correct answers all along but instead Fox went all the way out on the limb telling their viewers, including the president, that hydroxychloroquine was a miracle covid cure.

    Now they are frantically climbing back off that limb

    ://twitter.com/MattGertz/status/1252935946477228036?s=20

    Then we had this: Dr Rick Bright the career government scientist running BARDA, the agency involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, was shitcanned because Trump really, really liked an unproven drug he kept hearing about on Fox News.

    Reply
    • Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd April 2020

        Why is it astonishing to change your opinion when more evidence is available?

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  23rd April 2020

          For medicines in a crisis using a crystal ball approach isnt how its done….especially when 90% of meds in early trails that ‘look promising’ arent that at all.

          I did tell you all that some weeks back when this happened , the first trials didnt even have a control group.
          Same goes for the Stanford/USC trails on antibody detection, it was clear it was going to be nonsense.

          gee my track record is looking great.
          Pneumonia vaccine check
          Kiwisaver moved to cash funds in time check
          hydroxychloroquine going to be a dud check
          Antibodys study too silly check
          Greece vs Sweden Check
          Its a bit early yet but may be right as well on worries about second wave if having lockdowns too short as Singapore is heading that way.

          I should get an award ?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  23rd April 2020

            You want an award for your crystal ball approach but you don’t want to give credit to those who changed their mind according to the evidence at the time?

            Sure, have Mao’s Little Red Book.

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  23rd April 2020

              Have you changed your mind on anything in the last 10 years

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd April 2020

              Certainly, Duker. Have you?

        • Blazer

           /  23rd April 2020

          afternoon housewives favourite spruiking all manner of ‘remedies’ is Dr Oz.

          Reply
        • duperez

           /  23rd April 2020

          Right again AW. It shouldn’t be astonishing to change your opinion when more evidence is available.

          Maybe the astonishment is pent up stuff that should have been used a few weeks back when the idea was floated as a miracle cure to appease the fearful. Like floating the idiotic notion that someone would go into a lab, knock up a pill, in a couple of weeks it would be out, everyone could get one and Robert’s your mother’s brother.

          The complexity of the issues might be realised by people like yourself, scientists and the other clued up ones but not by the masses.

          Tiny, insignificant little side issues like the blot clotting thing? It’s not astonishing that the leader and cheer leaders weren’t interested in those. False hope is better than no hope. Deliberately falsely giving hope? No worries, there’s a war going on. An election war.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  23rd April 2020

            There was plenty of astonishment available back then, dups. How come you missed out?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  23rd April 2020

              it would seem you and your coys certainly didn’t ..’miss out’ …according to Duker,anyway.

            • duperez

               /  23rd April 2020

              I didn’t miss out on the lack of astonishment. I foolishly thought the scientific world would go crazy.

              The best some could come up with was, “Well if you’re going to die you’ll try something, you’ll try anything, here take a couple of these, they really work brilliantly on some things. They might work.”

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd April 2020

              But, duperez, it was exactly because doctors tried these and other things that we now have more information on efficacy. Isn’t that shocking?

            • duperez

               /  23rd April 2020

              You don’t know until you’ve tried I guess.
              If the boss thinks it’s a good idea you have to agree and try it. If some religious nutter has the notion that facing east, doing a hand stand then facing the east and taking a cyanide pill and the boss believes him, and tells you to do it, it’s all on, you do it!

              I just read this about the ‘experts.’ A difficult position to be in if you are a scientist and have faith in your knowledge. And want a job.

              https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/under-trump-coronavirus-scientists-can-speak–as-long-as-they-toe-the-line/2020/04/22/a0a67c12-84b9-11ea-878a-86477a724bdb_story.html

            • Duker

               /  23rd April 2020

              Probably 50 other drugs that were better choices to ‘try’ until trump got it in his head to mention . At least the Redemisvir was already a good prospect

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd April 2020

              A number are also being trialled. They shouldn’t be either? The previous mini trials and recommendations should have been ignored? You people talk crap and then grizzle about Trump.

        • Bullshit once again Alan. Go back and look at my comments. I’ve consistently cautioned against trusting this so-called wonder cure.

          Go back to sleep old fool.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  23rd April 2020

            No need to be more of a twit than usual, Ishmael. You were complaining about Fox news changing its mind so I asked why? I’m not very interested in changing yours though perhaps you should be.

            Reply
  9. Duker

     /  23rd April 2020

    This is a better source of high value information than Trumps tweets
    “The World Health Organisation launched an international “mega trial” known as SOLIDARITY on March 18, testing the four drugs it ruled had the most promise against COVID-19:
    an antiviral called Redemisvir that failed on Ebola but has shown some of the most encouraging early results against COVID-19;
    the anti-HIV drug combo Lopinavir/Ritonavir known as Kaletra;
    Inteferon, which is used to regulate the immune system and treat multiple sclerosis;
    and a late addition, following hype from the media and the US President hydroxychloroquine.

    It seems that Professor Trump was the only expert backing hydroxychloroquine and got it pushed on the list
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/will-we-get-a-treatment-before-a-vaccine-inside-the-race-for-a-covid-19-game-changer-20200421-p54lz4.html

    Caveat
    ‘patients taking part will know if they get an experimental treatment or if they’re in “the control group” with just the current supportive care options’ So no placebo blind trial.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd April 2020

      The caveat is certainly ethically necessary in these circumstances. Frankly I’m happier with specialists making their own clinical judgements and adjusting medication according to the patient’s condition and responses while communicating their experiences professionally between each other. That is exactly what seems to have been happening. This is not a good time for rigid scientific experimental protocols. The notion specialists are just following Trump’s speculations is just silly rubbish.

      Reply

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