By Marwa Mahmoud
An escaped Chinese virologist, who was said to have been in hiding out of fear for her safety, is out in public again to make sensational claim that she has scientific evidence that COVID-19 was made by humans in a lab in China.
Dr. Li Mingyan, the scientist who said she conducted some early research on COVID-19 last year, made the comments Friday during an interview on a British talk show called “Loose Weman”.
When asked where the deadly virus that has killed more than 900,000 people around the world came from, Yan answered – speaking via video chat from a secret website – “It is from the laboratory – the laboratory in Wuhan, under Chinese government control.”
She insisted that the widespread reports that the virus originated last year from a wet market in Wuhan selling fish in China is a “smokescreen.”
The virologist previously accused Beijing of lying about the virus. She had said that her former supervisors at Hong Kong School of Public Health, a reference laboratory of the World Health Organization, silenced her when she raised the alarm about human-to-human transmission in December of last year.
In April, Yan reportedly fled Hong Kong to America to raise awareness of the epidemic. Now, she said she plans to publish scientific evidence to prove that the virus was made in a laboratory in Wuhan.
“The genome sequence is like a human fingerprint. Based on this you can identify these things. I use the evidence to tell people why this came from the lab in China, and why they are the only ones who made it,” she said on the talk show.
“Anyone, even if they do not have biological knowledge, can sequence the genome, and can verify and identify it,” Yan added. And she continued: “This is the important thing for us to know the origin of the virus. If we cannot overcome it, it will be life threatening .. for everyone.” She added that she will now be out because “I know that if I don’t tell the truth to the world, I will be sorry.”
Yan also claimed that before she fled China, her information had been erased from government databases. “They deleted all of my information,” she said, claiming that people were being recruited “to spread rumors about me that I am lying.”
Earlier, Yuan Qiming, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, denied reports that the virus had been accidentally spread from its facility. “It is impossible that we were the creators of this virus,” Chiming told state media in April.