China’s six-trillion dollar COVID-19 ‘deception’
A US family who had 10 members contract coronavirus, causing two to tragically lose their lives, is among ten thousand Americans suing China.
The Caggiano family has joined a six-trillion dollar lawsuit filed by the Berman Law Group against the Chinese Communist Party, claiming they knew about COVID-19 and failed to alert the rest of the world in a timely fashion.
For Lorraine Caggiano, the affect of the virus has been brutal, after she lost her aunt Isabella Rizzo on March 25, followed by her dad Nick.
"I get this text message, and it says, from my mother, you know, "I want to sue China."
While some may have put the statement down to grief and pain, Lorraine said her mum was "dead serious", adding the family was desperate for "the truth" about the pandemic that has already claimed thousands of lives around the world.
"She's angry. So, she feels like, "Okay, they should have told people about this. They should have been more forthcoming about this... I lost my husband. I lost my sister."
Jeremy Alters, the chief strategist behind the class action, told 60 Minutes that China "unleashed hell" on the rest of the world, adding the country needs to pay up.
"This lawsuit is based on the fact that they knew about this virus. They failed to contain the virus. They failed to let us know in a timely fashion about the virus and have unleashed hell on our communities, on our countries, the United States, Australia and everywhere else," he told Channel 9's Tara Brown.
"That money is not just governments losing money, that is people losing their jobs, that is people losing their homes, that is people losing their livelihoods, that is people being able to feed their children. That six trillion dollars isn't coming back."
It's not just Americans taking issue with China, with Queensland's Liberal Senator, Amanda Stoker saying Australia needs to be part of a global push to force the Chinese Government to turn over its records.
The former barrister told the program that "strong factual findings" that prove there was a clear failure to comply with international obligations to report what was going on could result in a monumental compensation claim.
"[Failure] to share medical data about how to manage it, and about human to human transmission, then you might have the opportunity to pursue compensation at an international level," she said.
Already, some believe evidence of "deception" already exists.
Matthew Henderson, a former British diplomat, co-penned a report titled 'Coronavirus Compensation?' for the Henry Jackson Society which looked at China's potential culpability in the pandemic. In it he concludes that the Chinese side deliberately "suppressed" information on the virus for up to three weeks and provided the World Health Organisation (WHO) with "erroneous" information about the number of infections between 2 January 2020 and 11 January 2020
"It becomes clear that the way in which the Chinese side has managed this issue is negligent, culpable, and deliberately, wilfully damaging, not only to the world at large, but to the Chinese people, also," he said during the program.
Critics first began speculating that China had suppressed information on the virus back in February, before the situation was declared a global pandemic by WHO.
Whispers began when WeChat, a Chinese social media app similar to Whatsapp, suddenly suspended thousands of accounts sparking the hashtag "I want freedom of speech" on another Chinese platform Weibo.
It’s 5 am in China right now, but many people did not sleep tonight — hashtag “I want freedom of speech” started to trend on Weibo from 1 am and now has nearly 2 million views. pic.twitter.com/CA6lqy4ey2— Muyi Xiao (@muyixiao) February 6, 2020
The move to shut WeChat down was speculated to have been a form of censorship by authorities, NPR reported at the time - which was weeks before the rest of the world went into lockdown.
Originally published as China's six-trillion dollar COVID-19 'deception'