by WorldTribune Staff, April 5, 2020
Had the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) provided accurate information at an early juncture of the coronavirus outbreak “the infection would not have left China,” a UK-based think tank said.
Since the CCP’s negligence caused the virus to spread, nations worldwide have required their citizens to stay at home and all but shut down their economies. China should compensate these nations to the tune of some $6.5 trillion, The Henry Jackson Society said in a report titled “Coronavirus Compensation?”
There are several possible legal avenues nations could take to sue China, including the International Health Regulations, the report said. Those regulations were beefed up after the SARS outbreak, which China also tried to cover up.
Report co-author Matthew Henderson said: “By computing the cost of damage caused to advanced economies and assembling a series of possible legal processes to which the rules-based order can have recourse, we offer a sense of how the free world might seek recompense for the appalling harm the CCP has done.”
The Henry Jackson Society said other options could involve using the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration, The World Trade Organization, bilateral investment treaties and even the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Domestic courts and Chinese courts could also be possible avenues, the report said.
Despite having identified over 200 cases of coronavirus by Dec. 27, China did not report the disease to the World Health Organization (WHO) until Dec. 31 and said at the time there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission.
International Health Regulations require nations to monitor and share data related to the spread, severity, and transmission of any pathogens that are potentially transmissible internationally.
The Henry Jackson Society said China had done the opposite, by covering up data and punishing doctors who sought to tell the truth.
“In its early response, Wuhan and Hubei breached [International Health] Regulations…responsibility goes to the top of the regime,” the report said. “It appears more than probable that the Chinese Communist Party’s response to COVID-19 was in breach of international law.”