A conservative lawyer in Texas has filed a class-action lawsuit against China for the corona virus pandemic, based on an unsubstantiated claim that the Chinese government developed the virus as an illegal biological weapon. Lawyer Larry Klayman and his group Freedom Watch filed the complaint in federal court in Texas seeking at least $20 trillion from the Chinese government because of its “callous and reckless indifference and malicious acts.”

The lawsuit claims that this variation of the corona-virus was created by the Chinese government as a biological weapon and released by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located in Wuhan, China, where the corona-virus outbreak originated. Virologists and public health experts have negated the conspiracy theory that the corona-virus was man-made, with studies showing it originated as an animal virus that eventually jumped to humans.

Nonetheless, thanks to US President Donald Trump repeatedly referring to the outbreak as a “China virus”, conservatives like Clayman have been emboldened to press for a more aggressive U.S. posture toward China, including filing the lawsuit.

President Trump said the country “was not built to be shut down” and hinted he wants to find a way to get some people back to work, even as health experts say Americans need to stay home.

States and cities are frantically trying to round up medical supplies and increase hospital bed capacity. There are more than 43,600 cases across the U.S. and more than 550 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Joining the class action suit is Buzz Photos, a Texas company that specializes in high school sports photography. They claim that school closures and sports cancellations have brought Buzz Photos to the brink of bankruptcy. “There is no reason why the American taxpayer should have to pay for the tremendous harm caused by the Chinese government,”

Klayman said in a statement. “The Chinese people are a good people, but their government is not and it must be made to pay dearly.”

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