Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, is introducing a bill Friday targeting China over the coronavirus outbreak that would open it up to potential litigation in American courts if the country is found to have “manufactured” the virus.
The bill, called the Stop COVID Act, would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) to state that other countries “shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of the courts of the United States in any case where such foreign state is found, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to have discharged a biological weapon … in the United States or such discharge results in the bodily injury of [a] United States citizen.”
China has not been found, despite unsubstantiated speculation, to have intentionally developed the novel coronavirus. Evidence indicates that the virus initially transmitted to humans from an animal at a wet market in Wuhan, China, before it began transmitting between humans, triggering the current pandemic.
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