Marking the culmination of a process that began more than a month ago, a Senate committee is backing a bill that would allow Americans to sue China for failing to stop the coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill (S 4212) that would allow U.S. citizens to sue China for physical or economic damages related to COVID-19.— Caroline Simon (@carolinesimon66) July 30, 2020
GOP supporters said the bill would hold China accountable for actions related to the disease's spread. "The CCP’s lies and deceit and incompetence helped turn the COVID-19 disaster from would have been a very deadly but local disease into a worldwide pandemic," said @HawleyMO.— Caroline Simon (@carolinesimon66) July 30, 2020
Democrats were opposed, worried it would leave the U.S. open to similar litigation. "If we eliminate sovereign immunity for countries engaging in reckless behavior that contributed to the spread of COVID-19, other countries may very well do the same to us," said @SenFeinstein.— Caroline Simon (@carolinesimon66) July 30, 2020
It's the latest in a growing list of antagonistic tit-for-tat actions including ordering the closure of China's consulate in Houston, the first to open in the US following President Nixon's historic meeting with Mao back in the early 1970s. China retaliated by closing a US consulate in Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan Province.