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Top AIDS researcher: Wuhan virus no doubt comes from China

World-renowned Taiwanese-American HIV/AIDS researcher David Ho leads four teams in developing virus treatments

David Ho in lab.

David Ho in lab. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — World-renowned Taiwanese-American HIV/AIDS researcher David Ho (何大一) said in a recent interview that he does not think the novel coronavirus is a product of a lab, but there is no doubt that the virus originated in China.

"Based on our knowledge of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and different types of coronavirus found in animals, I believe without reservations that it [Wuhan coronavirus or COVID-19] came from China."

In an interview with VOA on March 5, Ho said that it is critical to find out where the virus came from so as to be better prepared for the next global epidemic. Ho also thinks that theories suggesting the virus emanated from the U.S. are highly problematic.

He attributes the large-scale coronavirus outbreak to China's lack of transparency and its tendency to refuse to take responsibility. Those deficiencies allowed the virus to spread in the crucial early stages.

The Columbia University professor is leading four research teams to develop treatments for the virus. Their plan is to find two inhibitors which can selectively block the virus and a coronavirus monoclonal antibody to treat patients; eventually, he hopes to develop a cure for the coronavirus regardless of its type.

"The solution for the coronavirus family has to be made as it is the third global outbreak associated with the coronavirus in twenty years," he told the reporter.

Ho is now working as a professor of medicine at Columbia University and found the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center dedicated to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. He was named Man of the Year in 1996 by TIME magazine for his breakthrough AIDS research.