By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The Attorney-General of Missouri has issued proceedings for damages against the “People’s Republic” of China, the Chinese Communist Party, the Wuhan Public Health Commission and numerous other entities for their “deceit” in covering up the outbreak and wilfully allowing it to spread worldwide when it could have been halted at source.
Missouri is the first State to sue China.
The key factual allegations are that in the critical weeks between December 2019 and January 23, 2020, the Chinese Government engaged in misrepresentations, concealment, and retaliation to conceal the gravity of the outbreak from the rest of the world, by –
1. Denying the risk of human-to-human transmission. The first known case of human-to-human transmission occurred in early December [actually November 17]. By late December, Chinese health officials had plenty of evidence of human-to-human transmission. On December 30, Chinese doctors at Wuhan hospitals posted on social media that they were observing human-to-human transmission. Until January 20, Chinese officials continued to insist that there was no evidence of human transmission, denying solid evidence to the contrary. Additionally, Chinese officials failed to report the potential for human-to-human transmission to the World Health Organization for weeks.
2. Silencing whistleblowers. From January 1-3, 2020, Chinese officials arrested eight doctors and forcibly silenced them as “rumor-mongers”—an action that was broadcast on state media, likely to deter others from speaking out. One doctor at a Wuhan emergency room was disciplined when she told her staff to wear masks when dealing with patients, fearing human-to-human transmission. Additionally, there were reports of journalists covering the outbreak who disappeared.
3. Failing to contain the outbreak. While denying human-to-human transmission, Chinese officials took little to no steps to contain the outbreak. By January 13, the Chinese government was aware of spread to Thailand. For the next week, they began treating COVID-19 as a serious and contagious virus without advising the public. During that time, millions of people traveled through Wuhan, and many thousands were infected, making a worldwide outbreak almost inevitable. A potluck event for 40,000 people went forward in Wuhan on January 16. The Chinese government took no serious steps to contain the outbreak until January 23, when it was far too late.
4. Hoarding personal protective equipment. Reports indicate that Chinese officials, while they were concealing the outbreak, began hoarding quality personal protective equipment while permitting only defective PPE to be exported to the rest of the world. This hoarding endangered the lives of health care workers and first responders in other countries.
Shills for China in the largely Communist academic community in the United States have fallen over themselves to maintain that the lawsuit should be dismissed on the ground that China is a “sovereign state” and is accordingly entitled to sovereign immunity from civil suit or criminal prosecution under the Federal Sovereign Immunity Act (28 U.S. Code 1604 et seq.). The various Marxist Professors who have rushed to China’s defense on this procedural ground (rather than on any substantive ground) have failed to notice the subtleties of Attorney-General Smith’s statement of claim.
First, it is a claim for pecuniary damages. Though the Act, at §1604, grants foreign states immunity from the jurisdiction of the United States courts, at §1605 there is a relevant exception:
“A foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of courts of the United States or of the States in any case (5) … in which monetary damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death, or damage to or loss of property, occurring in the United States and caused by the tortious act or omission of that foreign state or of any official or employee of that foreign state while acting within the scope of his office or employment; except that this paragraph shall not apply to … any claim based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function regardless of whether the discretion be abused …”.
Were the Chinese exercising a “discretionary function” in failing to notify the world timeously? No, they were not. The International Health Regulations (2005) are an instrument of international law legally binding upon signatory states, which include Communist China as well as the United States. Article 6 (Notifications) says –
“… Each State Party shall notify WHO, by the most efficient means of communication available, by way of the national IHR focal point, and within 24 hours of assessment of public health information, of all events which may constitute a public health emergency of international concern within its territory … Following a notification, a State Party shall continue to communicate to WHO timely, accurate and sufficiently detailed public health information available to it on the notified event, where possible including case definitions, laboratory results, source and type of the risk, number of cases and deaths, conditions affecting the spread of the disease and the health measures emploiyed; and report, when necessary, the difficulties faced and support needed in responding to the potential public health emergency of international concern.”
China was bound by, but did not comply with, Article 6, in that, inter alia –
a) it did not report the outbreak as soon as it was aware of a new and dangerous pathogen;
b) it falsely stated that person-to-person transmission had not been evidenced long after internal documents prove it knew the infection was thus transmissible;
c) it has continued to fail to comply with the obligation to report cases and deaths accurately (it is currently concealing outbreaks in Heiliongjiang province and in Peking, and yet has not reported any deaths for more than a week);
d) it ordered all original data samples to be destroyed, and swore all with knowledge of the original outbreak to secrecy (again, the original documents of the regime establish this fact);
e) it has not allowed international virologists access to the original data or samples, greatly hindering their efforts to find vaccines and antibody tests;
f) it delayed a WHO mission to Wuhan, the source of the outbreak, for approximately 10 days while evidence both at the Wuhan P4 laboratory that may have been the source of the outbreak and at the Huanan Seafood Market that the Chinese say was its source was destroyed.
There have been 250 deaths from the Chinese virus in Missouri. Since the facts establish that the “People’s Republic” of China is not entitled to sovereign immunity, the courts will not find it easy to dismiss the Attorney-General’s action, even though they will no doubt be besieged by amicus curiae briefs from Communist professors.
There is a further subtlety. The second defendant in the action is the Chinese Communist Party. Communist professors are already parroting the line that “the Chinese Communist Party is the State” (I quote from a legal paper by one such Professor in the U.S.). But it isn’t. Under the Chinese “constitution”, such as it is, China is governed by the Council of State. De facto, of course, the Chinese Communist Party wholly controls the Council of State, just as it wholly controls the World Death Organization, to which it has just increased its funding to compensate, in part, for the withdrawal of funding by the United States. However, de jure the Chinese Communist Party is just one of many political parties, and it is not coextensive with the State. Therefore, the Party is not entitled to sovereign immunity in any event.
In the event that the Attorney-General’s action in tort fails, he may like to consider a criminal prosecution. Here, the relevant international law is the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to which Statute the United States is a signatory, though it has not yet ratified the Statute. But that does not stop him from collaborating with Canada, say, where there have also been deaths, and which is a State Party to the Statute.
Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Of the various “crimes against humanity” defined in the Statute, two are relevant. First, extermination. The Chinese Communist Party, at municipal, provincial and national level knew full well that its virus was a killer, and yet it failed to notify the international community as international law as well as natural law required. Instead, acting in conspiracy with the WDO [I shall supply the evidence in a subsequent article], it delayed reporting the outbreak and then lied – and continues to lie – about it.
Secondly, disappearance of persons. Some seven doctors are known to have disappeared. Interestingly, a graduate student at the Wuhan lab has also been disappeared. She was splashed with the contents of a coronavirus-infected bat blood and urine when a fail-safe vaporizer failed to detonate upon breach of containment. Her name still appears on the laboratory’s website, but her photo, thesis and bio have been unpersoned. The intelligence community continues to investigate this and numerous other disappearances. The lab, which has always had a military wing, has now been placed under the direction of the “People’s Liberation” Army-Navy.
China is not going to get away with its systematic and continuing criminality. Even though it is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, any State Party can call for it to be prosecuted.
Sweden has closed the “Confucius institutes” at its universities, which were in reality front groups ensuring that the universities in question were Communist. Britain, heavily in hock to China, from which it has borrowed hundreds of billions, will cravenly do nothing. Even the European tyranny-by-clerk has begun to look on China with less enthusiasm than before.
Even if it proves impossible to bring China to book via the courts, there is a simpler remedy available. For decades, China has been pursuing “debt-trap diplomacy”, particularly in Africa, from which it extracts on preferential terms vast quantities of the raw materials that its economy desperately needs.
In Britain, debt-trap diplomacy was the sole reason why China was allowed to build our latest nuclear power station, even though Britain has one of the largest nuclear industries in the world; and it was the sole reason why Huawei, which directly reports to the Chinese Communist Party, was allowed to build the UK’s 5G network. Well, it is time for the Augustan solution. The Roman Emperor Augustus, faced with the bankruptcy of the Empire, issued a decree canceling all public and private debt. This action led to 400 years of prosperity and imperial bling.
Chancellor Erhard of Germany did something similar after the Second World War. One spring weekend in 1948, when the Allied occupying powers were out shooting in the woods, he called in and canceled the German currency, replacing it with the Deutsche Mark, and every citizen was given 50 marks. This action led to the rapid economic regrowth of Germany, which only began to falter when the ridiculous and crippling Energiewende was introduced. When General Clay, the U.S. commander of the Allied occupying forces, visited Erhard on the Monday morning, he said: “Sir, my advisers tell me you’re making a terrible mistake.” “Don’t worry, General,” said Erhard, smiling. “Mine tell me the same.”
China should now be haled before the International Criminal Court. If the Communists are found guilty of extermination and disappearance of persons, the Court should specify the reparations that the Communist Party shall pay to each nation that has lost lives as a result of China’s crimes against humanity. If – as is likely – China simply refuses to pay, her ambassadors should be expelled from all nations, all trade with China should cease, and all nations owing debt to China should repudiate that debt and any interest thereupon in full.
So to today’s charts. Now that all nations tracked here have gotten the pandemic under control, so that the growth rate is below 5% daily just about everywhere, from tomorrow I shall no longer publish the benchmark test for cumulative cases unless it shows a resurgence in rapid exponential transmission. However, I shall continue to publish the benchmark test for deaths until it, too, shows a reduction to no more than a daily 5% compound growth rate in all countries, equivalent to a doubling of deaths every two weeks.
Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 28 to April 23, 2020.
Fig. 2. Mean compound daily growth rates in cumulative COVID-19 deaths for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from April 4 to April 23, 2020.