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Attorney General Schmitt Joins 18-State Letter Asking Congress to Investigate the Chinese Government’s Role in Pandemic

May 11, 2020, 15:32 PM by AG Schmitt
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, along with 17 other state Attorneys General, sent a letter calling on Congress to investigate the Chinese government’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, the letter was sent on Friday to the leadership of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and other House and Senate leaders asking for a Congressional investigation.

“Last month, we became the first state to file suit against China, alleging that their inaction and suppression of information during critical days early in 2020 led to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. Here in Missouri, the impact of the virus is clear: thousands have been sickened and hundreds have died, staggering unemployment claims have been filed, companies have been forced to close their doors, and loved ones are separated from each other,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “Congress should investigate the role that China’s Communist Party and government played in this pandemic."

In April, Missouri became the first in the nation to file a lawsuit against the Communist authorities in China, citing a “campaign of deceit” on the part of the Chinese authorities related to the outbreak of the pandemic. In addition, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced her decision also to file a lawsuit holding China’s government accountable.

The current U.S. death toll from this coronavirus is nearly 80,000 and the pandemic’s economic devastation has caused the unemployment rate to skyrocket from 3.5 percent in February to its current rate of 14.7 percent.

“One of our colleagues has already filed suit against China and many of us are considering similar legal actions,” South Carolina Attorney General Wilson said. “Congressional hearings are critical to our nation’s understanding of the origins of COVID-19 and efforts by the communist Chinese government to deceive the international community.” 

In addition to South Carolina and Missouri, the following states’ attorneys general signed onto the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.

You can read the letter to Congress here.