Jacobs Seeks Legal Action Against People's Republic of China

Says China must be held accountable for loss of life and economic damage to New York

(Buffalo, NY) – State Senator Chris Jacobs is urging Attorney General Letitia James to bring legal action against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for their role in causing the spread of the deadly coronavirus which has taken a terrible toll on human life and the economy here in New York.

“No jurisdiction across the globe has experienced greater loss of life and economic harm from the expanse of the novel coronavirus than New York State,” said Jacobs.  “It is indisputable that the actions and inactions of the PRC contributed greatly to this spread.  They must be held accountable for their role in this global pandemic and they must pay restitution to New York State and its people,” he added.

In a letter to Attorney General James, Jacobs points to the fact that from the onset of the crisis the PRC has fought to conceal the true origin of the virus, delayed informing health organizations  and refused to share critical information that would have enabled nations around the world to better prepare.  The Senator maintains that by willfully spreading false information, the Chinese government continues to hamper efforts to protect the health and safety of people through tracing and potential vaccine development.

“As of today, the number of New York State residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 exceeds 340,000 and tragically, more than 22,000 New Yorkers have died because of this pandemic,” said Jacobs.  “These are incredibly sad and staggering statistics that far outpace any state in the nation, and they demand justice,” the Senator added. 

In addition to the tremendous loss of life, Jacobs emphasized the severe economic toll the crisis has taken.  Millions of hard-working New Yorkers have been forced out of work, literally thousands of businesses may never recover, and government deficits are skyrocketing with little prospects for revenue growth anytime soon.

The States of Missouri and Mississippi have both initiated legal action on behalf of their residents, and Jacobs said he believes there are multiple sections of the Code and exceptions to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act that would support any legal action taken by the Attorney General.

“Provisions exist within federal law allowing for legal action against another nation under these circumstances, due to the number of deaths and extreme level of economic harm caused by this pandemic and the PRC’s direct role in causing it,” said Jacobs.  “Other states agree and have begun to take action, I believe New York’s Attorney General has an obligation to do the same,” Jacobs concluded.