CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey joined a multistate coalition of state attorneys general in requesting the federal government coordinate with states to hold the Chinese government accountable for the outbreak of COVID-19.
Attorney General Morrisey joined many of the states in sending letters to both President Donald Trump and congressional leadership outlining the harm the coronavirus pandemic has done to their states and America 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 communist 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.
In calling upon the President and Congress to take action to hold China accountable, the coalition wants to determine what legal options are available to both state and federal governments and how state and federal agencies might work cooperatively together to hold China accountable for this deadly pandemic.
West Virginia joined the Florida- and South Carolina-led letter to President Trump with attorneys general from Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
West Virginia joined many of those same states, along with Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas in the separate letter to congressional leaders.
Read a copy of the letter to President Trump at https://bit.ly/2zwpEIg and to congressional leaders at https://bit.ly/3fBZYKF.