Alaska Attorney General joins other states asking Congress to investigate China’s COVID-19 response

Published: May. 11, 2020 at 4:51 PM AKDT
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Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson has signed on to a letter asking for Congressional hearings into the Chinese government’s response to COVID-19.

Specifically, the letter cites reports that allege the country stockpiled PPE and was secretive about the severity of the virus.

The letter, penned by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, was signed by 17 other State Attorneys General and sent to the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees as well as House and Senate leadership.

“As chief legal officer of Alaska, I join other attorneys general around the nation in asking our congressional leaders to hold China accountable for its actions,” Clarkson said in a prepared statement.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is a signatory on the letter, is also suing the Chinese government over its response to the novel coronavirus. The letter to Congressional leaders also states that, “many of us are considering similar legal actions.”

All of the Attorneys General who signed the letter are Republicans, three of whom work under Democratic governors.

The signatories assert that China is responsible for the economic impacts of the virus as well as the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.

“During this same period, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our states and the Nation,” Wilson wrote in the letter. “We must all hold China accountable for the devastation and destruction caused by COVID-19.”

The letter also asks Congressional leaders to look into gifts of drones to state governments and grants to American universities that are linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The letter does not specify which state governments have been recipients of drones or which universities received grants linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The letter was sent to Congressional leaders Saturday, the same day that Anchorage sister city Harbin in Northeast China donated 10,000 masks and 1,000 surgical gowns to the Municipality of Anchorage.

“This is a reminder about the kindness that comes with friendship. It's a gesture that highlights the human ties that are transcendent in the midst of a global crisis," Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said in a press release about the donation.

Clarkson signed the letter because he believes Congressional hearings will be fundamental to understanding how COVID-19 began.

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