“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (1) – 5/14/20
On May 13, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has 13 other attorney general’s in a pointed request of President Trump: hold China accountable for the economic and health damages rendered by Covid-19, which originated in the city of Wuhan, citing an alleged failure to accurately and quickly report on the spread of the novel coronavirus. Specifically, their letter asks for the formation of a state-federal partnership to hold the Asian superpower responsible for said damages. According to the Associated Press, “The letter to the president says ‘the Chinese communist government’ may have failed to provide information or provided misinformation about the virus that led to its spread.” It notes, “The spread of COVID-19 has grievously harmed each of our States. Many of our citizens have suffered and died from this virus. Our economies have been effectively shut down. Businesses, big and small, have been devastated to the point that many will not reopen.” The letter is signed by attorneys general from Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, Montana, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia—notably all republicans, but with hopes of making the partnership increasingly bipartisan. “I don’t see this as a partisan issue. Holding a country accountable for misinformation or lack of action that could have mitigated the spread of this devastating virus is something of concern to all of us regardless of party,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a leader in the effort. “Seeking damages is of concern to all of us.” The letter joins a growing list of similar cries for action from state elected officials and dozens of patients and businesses looking to sue China over the outbreak that has killed more than 83,000 people in the U.S.