Judicial Watch, a conservative non-partisan educational foundation, filed the lawsuit on Friday. Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the organization had previously requested the State Department to provide “non-identifying records of US diplomatic personnel being subjected to invasive COVID-19 ‘anal swab’ tests by the Chinese government.” However, no response has been provided within a legitimate time period.
“Our diplomatic personnel were abused in a reprehensible way by the Chinese and the Biden administration seems to have done little in response – except to cover it up,” Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton stated.
Judicial Watch said that, while acting under FOIA provisions, it was seeking records about US diplomatic personnel who might have been subjected to the “abusive” procedure upon entering China. Information on “complaints and communications regarding such testing” have been requested, with the diplomats’ personal identifying information understood to have been not disclosed. The State Department acknowledged receipt of the request but unlawfully withheld the records, the lawsuit claims, saying that it’s now asking the court to order the defendant to search for and release the details.
The Covid testing method that involves insertion of a cotton swab three to five centimeters into the rectum has been officially used in China, with its authorities saying it’s more accurate than the widely used nose and throat swabbing. While Chinese people have been subjected to the controversial procedure amid the pandemic, some American nationals have also reportedly been made to undergo the anal probing. After hearing such reports, the US State Department said that Washington had “never agreed” to such tests and protested directly to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs back in February. Beijing said it had no knowledge of American diplomatic staff being subjected to “undignified” anal probing for Covid-19 in China.
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