Judicial Watch Founder Sues Chinese Gov’t Over ‘Bioweapon’ COVID-19

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - MARCH 18: A person wears face mask as a precaution against coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ljubljana, Slovenia on March 18, 2020. (Photo by Ales Beno/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Larry Klayman, the co-founder of the conservative groups Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, has sued the Chinese government, alleging that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a Chinese bioweapon that made its way around the world.

The suit relies on tabloid news articles that succeeded in spreading the now-popular conspiracy theory that the disease originated as a man-made biological weapon — a theory that’s been debunked repeatedly for weeks by public health officials and medical experts.

“Although it appears that the COVID-19 virus was released at an unplanned, unexpected time, it was prepared and stockpiled as a biological weapon to be used against China’s perceived enemies, including but not limited to the people of the United States,” the suit reads.

That claim conflicts with epidemiologists and public health officials worldwide who assert the virus that causes COVID-19 came from the natural world, not a Chinese lab.

“We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” an international group of public health scientists wrote in the medical journal Lancet in mid-February, as the conspiracy gained steam.

“Scientists from multiple countries have published and analyzed genomes of the causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and they overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have so many other emerging pathogens,” the scientists wrote.

Klayman’s suit also lists as plaintiffs his group Freedom Watch and and Buzz Photos, a high school sports photography company in North Texas. It lists the Chinese military and the Wuhan Institute of Virology as defendants, in addition to the Chinese government. The suit demands a jury trial and damages “in excess of $20 trillion.”

According to Klayman, China and the government lab in Wuhan materially supported an act of international terrorism, violated international agreements against biological warfare and conspired to kill Americans.

Neither Klayman nor the Chinese embassy immediately returned TPM’s request for comment.

Conspiracies about COVID-19 were first broadcast to mass audiences through since-debunked or speculative articles in publications like the Washington Times and the New York Post, both of which were cited in Klayman’s suit.

They’ve also been buoyed by government officials, like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), who in February noted during an interview, “we also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases.”

Read the suit below:

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. " alleging that the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of a Chinese bioweapon that made its way around the world."

    Well, this is demonstrably false.

  2. This is an effort by Trump and associates to stoke xenophobia to cover up their incompetence. Thy had been calling it “coronavirus” for weeks and now all of the sudden they feel an urge of calling it “chinese virus”. And Tucker Carlson says that it’s Trump at his best? All the Fox and Friends “talent” are on board as well. Do they want to start a pogrom?

    I hold Fox News responsible for any Korean grocer that gets beaten up by the disgusting Trump voters.

  3. So…are my cheeks burning with the embarrassment of being an American or is it fever from Covid19?

  4. Can China sue him for defamation?

  5. They could have read the same thing right here at TPM, multiple people in The Hive have made this statement, with zero supporting evidence. Scientists have clearly said it developed naturally, and that should be the end of the matter until scientists study it further and find something that indicates the genome was artificially generated.

    The entire reason that the virus is spreading so much in the US, and will kill a lot of people instead of a few, is because of people like Klayman, who are spinning nonsense out as reality and convincing conservatives that it’s just a hoax or the flu. It’s infuriating, and should cause them to lose any voice that they have in our political system…they should become pariahs and be outcast from the system.

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

125 more replies


Avatar for ajm Avatar for playitagainrowlf Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for cervantes Avatar for drriddle Avatar for lastroth Avatar for gr Avatar for greylady Avatar for khaaannn Avatar for tena Avatar for isepick Avatar for jinnj Avatar for jonney_5 Avatar for ljb860 Avatar for rickjones Avatar for katscherger Avatar for maximus Avatar for drtv Avatar for bwillator Avatar for yellowbeard Avatar for txlawyer Avatar for possum Avatar for randome Avatar for emiliano4

Continue Discussion
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: