CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Attorneys General from states across the U.S. are joining together in an effort to hold the Chinese government accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced on Wednesday, May 13 he joined the coalition.
AG Morrisey signed letters to both President Donald Trump and congressional leaders. The letters outline the harm the pandemic has done to West Virginia and the United States as a nation.
“As the administration evaluates the spectrum of possible actions to take towards China, a coordinated effort involving all appropriate federal agencies and our States is crucial to ensuring the accountability our citizens deserve,” Attorney General Morrisey joined in writing. “A comprehensive evaluation of the legal, economic, diplomatic, and security measures that can be employed must be undertaken and for maximum effectiveness States should be included in that process to the extent possible. This will allow us to share information and resources and ensure that any remedy sought takes into consideration our legal capabilities and the devastating impact the virus has had on our States.”
The attorneys general write that citizens deserve to know whether the harm — both in cost of human lives and dollars — could have been prevented, and if so, who should be held accountable.
The coalition alleges that the Chinese government may have failed to stop the spread of the virus, misrepresented key information allowing it to spread and engaged in a cover-up to suppress information.
They also want to determine what legal options are available to both state and federal governments and how agencies at both levels might work together to hold China accountable.
Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia sent a letter to the President. Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas and West Virginia sent a separate letter to congressional leaders.