Burgess in the News

Reps. Chris Smith, Michael Burgess Bill Would Give Americans the Right to Sue China for Coronavirus

By: Kristina Wong | Breitbart News

Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and and Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX) unveiled a bill last week that would give Americans the right to sue the Chinese Communist Party for damages after it allowed the coronavirus to spread around the world. 

“With people finally recognizing that COVID-19 more than likely came from the Wuhan lab — something I raised from the very beginning — it is outrageous that no one has been held to account,” Smith, the chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in an exclusive quote to Breitbart News on Sunday. 

“China’s communist leaders knew they had a deadly and highly contagious virus on their hands, and they attempted to hide its origins and imposed their malign influence on the World Health Organization to echo their false narrative,” he said. 

The bill would waive the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and allow Americans the right to sue the CCP for monetary damages, personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property as a result of the CCP trying to hide the virus outbreak from the World Health Organization and the international community and allowing it to spread. 

The virus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, killed over 1.1 million across the U.S. and at least 6.8 million throughout the entire world. 

The bill is similar to Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorist Act (JASTA), which was passed by Congress in 2016 and allowed the family of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for aiding and abetting the terrorists involved in the attack. 

“The American people — who have suffered enormously from this virus — deserve to have their day in court to press the Chinese Communist regime on its reckless misinformation campaign, which hampered critical efforts that would have mitigated the virus’ spread and would have prevented so much pain and loss of life,” Smith said. 

Their legislation comes days after former Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield testified during a hearing that COVID-19 most likely originated from a lab in Wuhan, China — a theory that was immediately derided by mainstream news outlets and the left as a conspiracy theory. 

There have also been recent news reports that say the U.S. Energy Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also believe the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). 

In fact, when Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) asserted in 2020 that the virus came from the WIV, his claim was rated “false” by fact-checking website Politifact. 

This is the second time Smith is introducing the bill. When he first introduced it in April 2020, it was blocked on a party-line vote by the then-Democrat controlled House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

“The Chinese Communist Party refusal to provide real time information killed Americans,” Burgess said in a statement when the bill was introduced on Friday. “The American people lost loved ones and suffered a multitude of losses during the Coronavirus pandemic. They deserve the ability to get answers from the CCP.” 

“We must finally get to the truth about what happened and who was involved in this deception in order to bring justice to those who suffered profoundly from COVID-19,” he said. 

Their bill would also apply to other countries that provide misinformation to the W.H.O. about the nature, seriousness, or communicability of an infectious disease. The bill would allow discovery and the opportunity to ask questions in court.