That the United States plans some form of retribution against the government of China for its lies about the coronavirus pandemic is all but certain. Newsmax TV notes that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that action will be taken “when the time is right.”
In the meantime, according to Newsmax, a law firm in Florida called the Berman Group is putting together what will amount to the mother of all class-action lawsuits against China. Thus far, 5000 Americans, including doctors and nurses, have signed on to the civil action. The number of people and businesses that could be part of the class could be almost without limit. The Berman Group has received inquiries from people from 35 countries, including individuals living in Russia and China. If successful, the judgment could be in the trillions of dollars.
The only class action that remotely approaches the one being prepared against China was the one that was brought against the tobacco companies. The final judgment was “only” in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
Evidence of Chinese perfidy is damning, according to Newsmax.
“In a scathing analysis of China’s possible liabilities, The Henry Jackson Society, a neoconservative foreign policy think tank, said China broke the International Health Regulations statute, a pact between 196 countries to work together for global health security. The Chinese government’s negligence has cost the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK at least $4 trillion — and the wider world a presently incalculable sum, the report stated.”
The United States government has been obliged to allocate $2 trillion to deal with some of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. That figure does not count the costs of myriad bankruptcies, lost income, and pain and suffering due to the deaths as a direct result of the pandemic. The complete halt to normal life, which features social distancing and sheltering in place for at least half the world’s population, has wrecked a psychological toll that may be beyond calculation.
However, China may have a defense.
“Legal experts say China will likely cite in its defense the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA), a doctrine that states a government cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.”
The Berman Group is confident that it can get around the FSIA and be awarded access to Chinese assets and a portion of the income from its exports. Another possibility would be to name Chinese government officials in the suit and attach their foreign assets such as bank account.
The Berman Group is not the only firm that is seeking damages from China for its duplicity surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
“Attorney Robert Eglet has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Las Vegas businesses who claim Chinese officials hid key statistics about the coronavirus outbreak and intimidated doctors and journalists who tried to report it, leading to its catastrophic spread. Eglet previously represented victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting massacre in which a gunman killed 58 people and wounded 413.”
Business Today is reporting that another lawsuit is asking for $20 trillion, more than the annual GDP of China.
“Coronavirus update: A $20 trillion lawsuit has been filed against Chinese authorities in the US over coronavirus outbreak. American lawyer Larry Klayman and his advocacy group Freedom Watch along with Texas company Buzz Photos have filed the lawsuit against the Chinese government, the Chinese army, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Director of Wuhan Institute of Virology Shi Zhengli and Chinese army’s Major General Chen Wei.”
The theory behind the Klayman suit is that the coronavirus pandemic is, in effect, an act of biological war, implying that the release of the virus was deliberate. The assertion may be difficult to prove. The working theory is that the coronavirus either resulted from one of China’s notorious “wet markets” when exotic animals such as bats are sold for human consumption or from a nearby biological lab by accident.
In any case, analysts suggest that so long as the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act can be dispensed with, China is in a world of trouble. Its drive to sole superpower status is dependent on maintaining a growing economy. If its foreign assets and income were to be seized as a result of a successful class action suit, China could become a crippled nation for the foreseeable future with impossible to foresee repercussions.