By SUMMER BALLENTINE
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A federal appeals panel says a Missouri lawsuit accusing China of hoarding masks and other protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic can move forward. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Eighth District Court of Appeals panel, however, otherwise agreed Wednesday with a lower court’s 2022 ruling that tossed out Missouri’s case entirely. The court found that federal rules prohibit a sovereign foreign entity from being sued in American courts. The state had alleged that China’s officials were to blame for the pandemic because they didn’t do enough to slow its spread. The appeals panel found that only the claim regarding personal protective equipment can proceed.