More than 5,000 Americans — including hundreds of doctors and nurses — have now signed on to a sweeping class-action lawsuit which claims China's secrecy and negligence triggered the coronavirus pandemic.
And legal experts believe, if successful, the suit — filed by the Florida-based Berman Law Group — could reap trillions of dollars in damages.
"We've gotten calls from potential plaintiffs from over 35 countries, including folks from Russia and China," Vinh Vuong, partner with the government relations firm of Lucas | Compton, which is partnered with Berman, told Newsmax.
"We hope this becomes a global coalition of all nations affected to unite vs. the Chinese Communist Party for their continued unethical behaviors and actions. Enough is enough."
Vuong added, the action would help empower Chinese citizens who question the communist party in its handling of COVID-19.
In a scathing analysis of China's possible liabilities, The Henry Jackson Society, a neoconservative foreign policy think tank, said China broke the International Health Regulations statute, a pact between 196 countries to work together for global health security.
The Chinese government's "negligence" has cost the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK at least $4 trillion — "and the wider world a presently incalculable sum," the report stated.
"Here, the breach of international law has devastated the global economy, killed thousands and changed the lives of millions," according to Henry Jackson Society. "If the world does not act in response to this breach of international law, that begs the question when it will."
Former Florida state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, a consultant to Berman, said: "This could have been contained while Chinese officials instead attempted to put a positive narrative on the unfolding epidemic for China's own economic self-interest.
"When you read about the rising death tolls, and see the almost complete halt to normal life and travel, remember that China waited seventeen critical days before sharing the COVID-19 genome sequence with other nations."
Legal experts say China will likely cite in its defense the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA), a doctrine that states a government cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution.
But Vuong told Newsmax lawyers at Berman are confident they can successfully circumvent the FSIA and seize Chinese assets.
The Berman lawsuit is not the only legal action against the East Asian country of 1.4 billion.
Attorney Robert Eglet has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Las Vegas businesses who claim Chinese officials hid key statistics about the coronavirus outbreak and intimidated doctors and journalists who tried to report it, leading to its catastrophic spread.
Eglet previously represented victims of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting massacre in which a gunman killed 58 people and wounded 413.
So far, China has rejected all culpability, insisting it has been "open and transparent" in responding to the emergency and sharing data with countries around the world.
"Some U.S. officials just want to shift the blame," China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing, according to Bloomberg. "Actually we don't want to fall into an argument with them, but faced with such repeated moral slander by them, I feel compelled to take some time and clarify the truth again."
But there is a growing outcry for China's hide.
The Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, wrote in an opinion piece:
"No one can blame Beijing for a viral outbreak beyond its control. But the Chinese communist regime should be blamed — and held legally liable — for intentionally lying to the world about the danger of the virus, and proactively impeding a global response that might have prevented a worldwide contagion."
Theissen also quoted former Justice Department official David Rivkin as saying that successful court judgements against China could be used to seize any China's commercial assets and proceeds of Chinese exports.
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