WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) has reintroduced the Holding the Chinese Communist Party Accountable Act of 2021 that would allow Americans to sue China in federal court to recover damages for death, injury, and economic harm caused by the coronavirus. Specifically, the bill would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to create a narrow exception for damages caused by China’s dangerous handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We have known for more than a year now that the Chinese Communist Party was covering up the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The communist regime expelled journalists, silenced whistleblowers, and withheld vital information that delayed the global response to the pandemic. We need to hold the Chinese government accountable for their malicious lies and coverup that allowed the coronavirus to spread across the world. Their actions cost American lives and livelihoods, which is why I'm reintroducing this bill to ensure China’s actions are not without consequences,” said Crenshaw.
Crenshaw originally introduced this legislation in April 2020. This legislation is modeled after the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which 97 members of the Senate voted in favor of in 2016.
The bill makes clear that covering up the virus and causing it to spread faster or further than it otherwise would have can be considered a tortious act.
The bill gives the United States a powerful tool to get China to pay for the damage it has caused: If the United States and China come to an agreement to settle the claims, then the private suits could be dismissed. In other words, China can take responsibility and agree to pay for the damage it has caused, or it can face potentially millions of claims in federal court.