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'Zero chance' coronavirus is natural: Chinese virologist

Chinese virologist claims China uploaded 'wrong genome sequence' to mask true man-made origin of coronavirus

Yan (left). (YouTube, Voice of Guo Media screenshot)

Yan (left). (YouTube, Voice of Guo Media screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese virologist and whistleblower on Sunday (Aug. 2) agreed that based on its genetic structure there is a "zero chance" that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) evolved in nature.

On Sunday, the YouTube channel Voice of Guo Media, which is affiliated with controversial Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui (郭文貴), held a livestream interview with Yan Li-Meng (閻麗夢), a virologist who was employed as a researcher at the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health when the coronavirus pandemic began and who previously accused Beijing of covering up the initial outbreak in Wuhan. The interview appears to be a followup to an interview last week Yan gave to Lude Press (路德社), in which she alleged that the coronavirus came from a People's Liberation Army (PLA) lab.

During a segment on Guo's channel titled "War Room 306," Yan claimed that the coronavirus did not jump directly from bats to humans, but rather is "based on a bat virus." She alleges that the coronavirus was discovered and owned by the PLA.

Through engineering modifications in the laboratory and series passage in animals, the virus acquired a "focus on humans," giving it a strong lethality. Yan said that the genome of the coronavirus reveals its actual man-made origin.

She asserted that this was the reason why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tried to delay the disclosure of the genome sequence at the beginning of the outbreak. She alleges that the government even deliberately changed the genome by entering some "wrong genome sequences" into the NIH genetic sequence database on Jan. 12.

Yan claims that the Zhoushan bat virus (舟山蝙蝠病毒) is the "backbone" upon which COVID-19 was constructed. She appears to be referring to two SARS-like coronaviruses (SL-CoVs), designated as ZXC21 and ZC45, which were collected from bats in Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province between 2015 and 2017.

The virologist charges Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientist Shi Zhengli, also known as "Bat Woman," as deliberately posting a paper on Feb. 3 to draw attention to a coronavirus strain identified as RaTG13, which is a strain she and her team discovered in bats in Yunnan in 2013 and that is 96 percent identical to SARS-CoV-2. Yan claims that this was a deliberate attempt to throw investigators off the Zhoushan bat virus strains, while Shi herself claims the fact that RaTG13 is four percent different from SARS-CoV-2 exonerates her lab from being the source of the outbreak.

Yan pointed out that the first case outside China occurred in Thailand on Jan. 13, which means that scientists from other countries can also obtain and isolate the virus samples. She said that if the Thailand samples are examined, experts will be able to see the discrepancy between the "wrong genome sequence" and the "real genome sequence."

She said that on Jan. 14, the "wrong genome sequence" was replaced by the Chinese for "version 2.0." Yan claims the Chinese acknowledged that they replaced elements of the genome in the new version, and such a modification of a genome database is rare.

According to Yan, an examination of the genome sequences released in that version shows that Zhoushan ZC45 and ZXC21 are the closest to SARS-CoV-2. On Jan. 19, Yan claims that she began exposing problems with the genome sequences on the Lude Press YouTube channel.

Yan said that on Jan. 20, Shi submitted her paper on RaTG13 to Nature, which was then published on the same day as a paper by Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center Professor Zhang Yongzhen, who was the first to upload the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence. Yan says that in his paper Zhang said SARS-CoV-2 was closest to the Zhoushan bat virus strains.

Later, she says Zhang was punished by the Chinese government for making the comparison, and his P3 laboratory was shut down.

When asked if the Chinese government is trying to cover up the origins of the virus, she said that COVID-19 is an "enhanced SARS virus" with components of the SARS virus as well as "other lethal parts." She then compared the resulting chimera to "a cow with a deer's head, rabbit's ears, and monkey's hands."

"I mean please tell me how this came from nature?" When asked if the chimera was the result of work on vaccines and therapeutics or a weaponization program, Yan said that based on her experience working on developing vaccines, "I can tell you, this is definitely not for a vaccine or solution of the SARS virus."

At the end of the interview, when asked if there was "zero chance this came from nature," she responded by saying "Even based on common sense, yes."