Today Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and a group of colleagues joined Senator Martha McSally in introducing the Civil Justice for Victims of China-Originated Viral Infectious Diseases (COVID) Act to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) responsible for the coronavirus global pandemic. The bill incorporates previous stand-alone bills introduced separately by Senator Hawley, Senator McSally and Blackburn, and Senator Cotton to hold the CCP accountable.
"I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and lead the effort to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the devastation they have unleashed on the world. This pandemic is far from over, and every day Americans continue to suffer thanks to the CCP’s incompetence and lies. The victims deserve to have their day in court."Senator Josh Hawley
Senator McSally said, "Americans who have been victimized by the lies and deceit of the Chinese Communist Party—to include those who lost loved ones, suffered business losses, or were personally harmed due to COVID-19—deserve the opportunity to hold China accountable and to demand just compensation. Our bill will empower Americans to do just that by providing them with the legal tools necessary to sue the Chinese government in federal court for creating and worsening the COVID-19 pandemic. As the death toll and financial losses of COVID-19 mount, China should be forced to pay the costs of these damages to the American people."
The COVID Act would strip China of its sovereign immunity and create a cause of action against China for causing the coronavirus pandemic through its reckless actions and lies. The plan would also authorize federal courts to freeze Chinese assets and allow States to sue on their own behalf or on behalf of their residents. Joining the bill as original cosponsors are Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.).
Senator Hawley has been a leading advocate to hold China accountable for the coronavirus in U.S. courts and was threatened with countermeasures by the Chinese government as a result of his efforts.
Text of the bill can found here.