In view of the global novel coronavirus pandemic, a group of Americans has sued the Chinese government for damages of $ 20 trillion. The company alleges that China has spread the virus as a biological weapon.
US Texas-based Buzz Photos, lawyer Larry Kleiman and the institution Freedom Watch jointly sued the Chinese government, the Chinese Army, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Wuhan Institute director Xi Zhengli and the Chinese military’s Major General Chen Wei.
Charges by Americans
The litigants have claimed that the Chinese administration was preparing a biological weapon, from where the virus spread and that is why they are demanding damages of $ 20 trillion.
The amount is more than the total GDP of China, which was $ 13.37 trillion as of 2018. The Americans have alleged that China has in fact conspired to kill and ill American citizens.
The litigants allege that the Wuhan Virology Institute intentionally released the biological agent. China has “created” coronavirus for mass massacres in the world, they say.
The lawsuit states that biological weapons have been outlawed only in 1925; they must be seen as terrorist weapons of genocide.
The Americans have cited several media reports about this, saying that there is only one microbiology lab in China in Wuhan that can deal with state-of-the-art viruses such as the novel coronavirus 2019.
China hid facts about coronavirus with an excuse it was part of their national security protocol, the Americans allege.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adanom Gabreisus warned that the pandemic was spreading fast and the number of COVID-19 positive cases and deaths from the disease was increasing at an alarming rate.
The number of positive cases in the world has exceeded 4,00,000 and the number of deaths has crossed 18,000.
Sustainability of the lawsuit
It is, however, doubtful anything will come of the lawsuit. That is despite the fact that now there is a groundswell of opinion among the people of the US that China must be held responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. A country (represented by its government, army, etc) cannot be sued.
“Legal liability, however, is another matter. The government of China is protected by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, and the regime’s undoubted misconduct does not constitute sufficient grounds for a waiver,” Stephen L Carter wrote in Bloomberg. Carter is professor of law at Yale University. He was a clerk to the US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.