Alters, Moore & Vuong: Coronavirus fallout – hold China accountable for virus failures

Programming alert: Watch the authors discuss this topic and more on "The Story with Martha MacCallum" on April 8 at 7 pm EDT on Fox News Channel.

When America rang in 2020, it was with the hopes of a new decade and new beginnings. Few would have imagined that the new year would bring an abrupt end to much of what we take for granted in this country; those who could have imagined what was about to unfold would have been roundly ridiculed as paranoid and in need of professional help. The preceding holiday season had been remarkable only in how unremarkable it seemed, banal in its mechanized festivities, gift-giving, and the family gatherings we always took for granted.

Coronavirus would change all of that. Later in January, China rang in the year of the rat, a symbol of luck to the Chinese people, but an apt symbol of its leaders as we suffer through the consequences of their decisions. This was a damnation that came with forewarning.

It all started when a director at Wuhan Central Hospital in China first received reports of a SARS-like disease weeks before the rest of the world even knew what COVID-19 was.

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As perhaps the first person to come into contact with what came to be known as coronavirus, Dr. Ai Fen was in a unique position to kill the pandemic in its infancy. She was also among the first to notice strong evidence of human-to-human transmission and infections, which first appeared in family groups even after the Wuhan “wet markets” (the suspected origin of the disease) were shut down. While these markets were allegedly shut down years ago, Wuhan authorities turned a blind eye to the ongoing operations.

Dr. Fen did what any medical professional in her position would do: raise the alarm and convince superiors to mobilize assets to strike quickly against the mysterious illness. When dealing with infectious diseases, time is of critical importance: being “first to the fight” can mean the difference between containment and a global catastrophe.

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Rather than empowering her to save lives, hospital leaders and health commission officials ordered Dr. Fen censured; instead of being commended for doing her job, she was reprimanded for “spreading rumors.” Chinese authorities forced front-line health workers to stay silent about the virus, forbidding them not only from consulting with their colleagues but from mentioning that there was a problem at all.

Chinese law enforcement officials forced doctors to consult with “experts” at city and provincial levels when filling out infectious disease forms, preventing the collection of samples and the treatment of patients. Rather than ordering people to stay in their homes, local governments went out of their way to force a picturesque lie of business as usual: social activities were encouraged, medical experts were silenced and the virus spread unchecked.

Dr. Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist who was perhaps the pandemic’s most famous whistleblower, was detained, questioned and reprimanded. He was forced to sign a form of reprimand, admitting to “severely disrupt[ing] [the] social order,” while police threatened him and his family with incarceration.

Li Wenliang contracted coronavirus and died shortly thereafter. To show their gratitude for his courageous services as a medical doctor, the Chinese government tried to paint him as a communist sympathizer who sacrificed himself for the good of the nation. The Chinese government still refuses to accept any responsibility whatsoever for its role in the greatest global health crisis of the past 50 years.

Berman Law Group, a leading Florida-based class action law firm, has committed to fight for those citizens who have been made to suffer at the hands of China’s failure through a federal class-action lawsuit filed on March 12, 2020.

The first confirmation of coronavirus spreading from human to human was made on Jan. 3. This was concealed by the Chinese government until Jan. 20, by which point coronavirus had long since made its way past Chinese borders and into the rest of the world. Chinese researchers withheld the 19-genome sequence of the coronavirus for 17 days, leaving medical colleagues and health researchers around the world helpless to begin developing defenses of their own.

Even in times of global crisis, China staunchly refuses to cooperate with the rest of the world. They continue to withhold key data and important documents needed by world health leaders. Innocents die by the thousands, but Beijing can only be bothered to tend to its own ends and strategize how it might best spread its poison throughout the world.

That ends now.

Berman Law Group, a leading Florida-based class action law firm, has committed to fight for those citizens who have been made to suffer at the hands of China’s failure through a federal class-action lawsuit filed on March 12, 2020. The suit rightfully claims that Beijing intentionally withheld, misrepresented and hid information about coronavirus from the world at large, and from the medical community in particular. Those who were best equipped to deal with the outbreak were intimidated into silence. China’s abhorrent, intentional acts and omissions have virtually destroyed the world as we know it. Millions who once barely scraped by find themselves in the maw of very real poverty.

And let us not forget that China condones and supports exotic animal breeding and trade for the wet markets. Animals like fruit bats harbor thousands of coronaviruses and are routinely bred for the wet market trade in conditions that allow the viruses to become more heat-resistant. It was only a matter of time before one of the coronavirus strains became capable of infecting humans, which would then be rapidly transmitted between people, with the COVID-19 mortality rate being the logical outcome.

These infected animals often find their way into the very same wet markets that authorities claim were outlawed. These same animals are then sold, exchanged and consumed. China has allowed the exotic animal trade to flourish, again providing the perfect environment for a deadly pandemic, as the animals naturally carry the viruses and are bred under conditions that make the viruses more resilient. The miracle of the fight against COVID-19 isn’t solely found in the bravery and tireless efforts of medical researchers desperate to stop the virus; the true miracle of the coronavirus is that it took this long to have a global pandemic in the first place.

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China has created a global pandemic through its own negligence, a parade of lies and a healthy dose of self-serving tyranny. Any claim of sovereign immunity must be rendered null and void in light of the plainest of criminal intent: China has intentionally and knowingly made itself a terrorist state and must be brought to justice accordingly. Beijing must be forced to answer for the corpses they have created, the lives they have destroyed, and the world they have ruined. Anything less would be a miscarriage of justice, an insult to the medical professionals who continue to risk their lives on a daily basis to contain Beijing’s microscopic bastards, and a knife in the broken heart of every innocent bereft of the loved ones they had torn away far too soon.

The initial conference in the case is set for May 1 before Judge Ursula Ungaro.

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Matthew Moore, lead attorney for this case and a class action litigator at Berman Law Group, has been the legal mind at the forefront of some of country’s largest class actions and $1 billion+ settlements. 

Vinh Vuong is partner at Lucas Compton, a leading lobbying and public affairs firm and is chief spokesperson for this case.