Source: Cassandra Fairbanks

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has announced that he has filed a lawsuit against China for lying to the world and causing “devastating loss of life and economic suffering.”

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Missouri on Tuesday, makes them the first state to do so.

“Today I filed suit against the Chinese government to seek recovery for the devastating loss of life & economic suffering Missourians face as a result of the #COVID19 pandemic,” Schmitt tweeted. “The bottom line: they lied to the world & should be held accountable.”

“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,” Schmitt said in a statement.

The lawsuit blasts China for “unlawful and unreasonable acts and omissions” which “have been injurious to—and have significantly interfered with—the lives, health, and safety of substantial numbers of Missouri residents, ruining lives and damaging the public order and economy of the State of Missouri.”

“An appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic,” the lawsuit says. “During the critical weeks of the initial outbreak, Chinese authorities deceived the public, suppressed crucial information, arrested whistleblowers, denied human-to-human transmission in the face of mounting evidence, destroyed critical medical research, permitted millions of people to be exposed to the virus, and even hoarded personal protective equipment—thus causing a global pandemic that was unnecessary and preventable.”

The lawsuit also brings up the “emerging theory on the origin of the virus … that it was released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was studying the virus.”

In addition to China’s lies, the lawsuit condemns the country’s hoarding of medical supplies in the early days of the virus which lead to them “going ‘from being a net exporter of personal protective equipment, as it is the largest producer in the world, to a net importer.’”

There are at least seven federal class action lawsuits against China that have been filed by private groups, according to a report from Fox News. Twenty-two Republican lawmakers have also requested that the Trump administration bring a case against China to the International Court of Justice (ICIJ) over their handling of the pandemic.

As of Tuesday morning, Missouri has confirmed 5,963 cases of the Chinese virus and 215 deaths. The cost of the shutdown in the state has also cost an estimated $44 billion.