- The Washington Times - Friday, August 6, 2021

A conservative group on Friday said it filed a lawsuit against the State Department to obtain records of U.S. diplomats who were forced to undergo “invasive COVID-19 anal swab tests” by the Chinese government. 

Judicial Watch said it filed the lawsuit because the State Department did not respond to a June 18 Freedom of Information Act request for the records. The request asked for all non-identifying records of U.S. diplomats stationed in or trying to enter China who were subjected to the tests. The group also wants all communications and complaints about the testing. 

Media reports about U.S. diplomats being subjected to anal swab testing for the coronavirus by Chinese officials emerged in February. 

“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,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement.

The State Department told The Hill in February that Chinese officials mistakenly forced the diplomats to take anal swab tests, while Beijing denied conducting the tests. A spokesperson told the news site that the State Department “never agreed” to the tests and protested to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs after receiving complaints from staff. 

“As a matter of practice, we do not comment on pending litigation,” a State Department spokesperson told The Washington Times. 

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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