April 27, 2020

Governor Mike Parson announced Monday, April 27 that the state of Missouri would begin an initiative to reopen the regional economy, citing decreasing coronavirus statistics. He described Phase 1 of reopening the state economy. This includes hospitals, churches, sporting events, and restaurants. The first phase will last from Monday, May 4 until May 31.

In the latest example of US officials holding China accountable for the coronavirus, the state of Missouri has filed a civil lawsuit against the communist nation.

The state became the first to do so on Tuesday, April 21. The lawsuit alleges that the People’s Republic of China did not provide sufficient warning or details to help the U.S. fight against the deadly virus, instead suppressing information from both the general public and the United States government.

“In this case, the State of Missouri seeks recovery for the enormous loss of life, human suffering, and economic turmoil experienced by all Missourians from the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted the entire world,” the lawsuit said. “An appalling campaign of deceit, concealment, misfeasance, and inaction by Chinese authorities unleashed this pandemic.”

On Wednesday, April 22, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Greg Shuang called the claim “absurd” and said the lawsuit has “no factual and legal basis at all.” Despite the disregard by the Chinese government, Mississippi announced it would also file a lawsuit against Beijing under similar rationale. It remains unclear if other states will follow suit.

According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, there are currently 7,171 cases of COVID-19 and 288 COVID-19-related deaths in Missouri. The statistics are updated every day at 2 p.m., CT.

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