A group of frontline healthcare workers are suing the Chinese government, claiming that it mishandled the coronavirus outbreak and is now hoarding badly-needed personal protective equipment and selling it for profit.
In a lawsuit filed in a federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla. against the Chinese Communist Party, the healthcare workers charge that it is blocking exports of gloves, goggles and other PPE and selling it at a substantial mark-up while people across the globe are getting sick and dying from COVID-19.
They also allege that the Chinese government should be held responsible for the extent of the coronavirus outbreak because it initially tried to downplay its dangers, censored doctors who tried to sound the alarm and stalled in locking down Wuhan, the sprawling metropolis that has been identified as ground zero for the bug.
“It’s almost straight out of a movie — ‘let’s cause the world to get a virus and let’s profit off of it,’” said Jeremy Alters, a spokesman for the Boca Raton-based Berman Law Group.
“In New York, we have doctors and nurses in garbage bags,” Alters said, referring to a shocking report by The Post.
The plaintiffs include a New York doctor, a New Jersey surgical technologist, a West Virginia nurse and a doctor and a nurse working in Florida. They claim that their suit could cover nearly 4 million US healthcare workers.
Two of the plaintiffs have tested positive for coronavirus — one of whom is in “very bad shape” and in an intensive care unit, Alters said.
Executives from manufacturers 3M and Honeywell have told US officials that China has blocked their exports of respirators, gloves and other PPE.
A lawyer for President Trump’s re-election campaign recently said the White House has been in contact with the manufacturers and that it is weighing legal action against Beijing for allegedly hoarding PPE.
Last month, the Berman Law Group filed a lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China on behalf of a group of Florida businesses alleging that it should be held liable for trillions of dollars in damages to individuals and businesses.