A Chinese woman is taking legal action against the government over what she says was a botched response to the COVID-19 pandemic that killed her father — saying she believes officials “covered up some facts.”
Zhao Lei, of Wuhan, is filing a lawsuit seeking compensation and a rare public apology from the government, Sky News reported.
“I think the government covered up some facts,” she told the outlet. “Because of this, Wuhan people carried on living like before, they celebrated Chinese New Year normally, without taking any protection.”
The 39-year-old said officials’ failure to fully inform people about the virus “meant my father got infected and died.”
“I think the government covered up the fact that coronavirus could spread from people to people,” she said. I hold the government accountable and ask them to pay the due price.”
She said her father contracted COVID-19 at the end of January but there was no ambulance to take him to the hospital since emergency services were overwhelmed.
When he finally made it to the hospital, it was too late, the outlet reported. He died of respiratory failure as he sat in the waiting room.
“I can’t accept it. Someone just suddenly died. I cannot accept the fact,” she said.
Zhao decided to go forward with the lawsuit even though the municipal court rejected her application and authorities visited her mother warning her not to speak out, Sky News reported.
“I think my lawsuit is good for our country. It can warn people that if we have a disaster next time, we could do something to prevent bad outcomes. We can save more people,” said Zhao, who is taking her case to the supreme court of Hubei, which is the province of Wuhan.
China has repeatedly insisted that it acted “openly and transparently” in its handling of the pandemic, the report said.
But Zhao maintains that her side is the truth, saying, “I didn’t lie. I didn’t make up rumors.”
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