COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson is leading the call for an investigation of China’s role in the novel coronavirus pandemic.
According to his office, Wilson and Attorneys General from 17 other states sent a letter 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 into the country’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Recent reports suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus while simultaneously stockpiling personal protective equipment,” Attorney General Wilson said in the letter. “In what Secretary of State Pompeo has described as a ‘classic communist disinformation effort,’ the Chinese government, aided by the World Health Organization, appears to have intentionally misled the world over the last six months.”
Nearly 80,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States and the virus has caused an economic crisis with the unemployment rate skyrocketing from 3.5 percent in February to its current rate of 14.7 percent.
Wilson’s office says the Chinese government’s “mishandling and deliberate deception has caused death and hardship for millions of Americans,” and said attorneys general, as chief legal officers of their respective states, want to hold China accountable for its actions.
“One of our colleagues has already filed suit against China and many of us are considering similar legal actions,” 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 April, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt became the first in the nation to file a lawsuit against China, citing a “campaign of deceit” on the part of the Chinese related to the outbreak of the pandemic. In addition, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced her decision also to file a lawsuit holding China accountable.
In addition to South Carolina, the following states’ attorneys general signed onto the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia.
You can read the letter to Congress here.