TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese virologist and whistleblower on Wednesday (Aug. 5) claimed the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is a chimera based on the "Zhoushan bat virus" and chastised the World Health Organization (WHO) for lying about the virus and operating according to mutual "benefits" rather than in the interest of world health.
The YouTube channel G-Translators on Wednesday (Aug. 5) held a livestream interview with Yan Li-Meng (閻麗夢), a virologist employed as a researcher at the University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health when the coronavirus pandemic began. The interview follows an appearance she made on another YouTube channel Sunday (Aug. 2), in which she alleged the coronavirus came from a People's Liberation Army (PLA) lab.
In the latest interview, when asked for her take on negotiations between China and the WHO regarding its investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, Yan said the two parties will first hold backdoor discussions on the "benefits" for the WHO and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government. She alleged that after the "benefits" are agreed upon, the two parties will sit down and decide "what to tell the people, whether this is really from some bats, even the 'one belt one road' countries, or some poor animals they suddenly caught in Wuhan."
Yan then claimed that she and her team have produced a scientific report that shows the origin of COVID-19 is the "PLA-owned Zhoushan bat coronavirus." She plans to release the report in the near future, and accuses the WHO of "covering up numerous lies for the CCP."
She pointed out that at the end of February, the WHO sent experts, including the controversial Bruce Aylward, who later published a report that praised the Chinese government's handling of the outbreak. However, she claims the WHO "dared not admit Shi Zhengli's RaTG13 virus."
The virologist said Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) scientist Shi Zhengli, also known as "Bat Woman," deliberately posted 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 this was an orchestrated attempt to throw investigators off the Zhoushan bat virus strains, while Shi herself claims the fact that RaTG13 is 4 percent different from SARS-CoV-2 exonerates her lab from being the source of the outbreak.
Yan claims the document posted on WHO's website after the visit to Wuhan pointed out the origin of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is "actually closest to the Zhoushan bat virus." According to Yan, an examination of the genome sequences released by the Chinese government on Jan. 14 also shows that Zhoushan ZC45 and ZXC21 are the closest to SARS-CoV-2 and that they are the "backbone" upon which COVID-19 was constructed.
When asked if the Zhoushan strain is in the PLA's catalog of viruses and if COVID-19 resulted from gain-of-function or other manipulations in the WIV, Yan said the virus could have come from any one of the PLA's numerous labs, such as in Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Harbin. Gain-of-function is when viruses are engineered to become more deadly or transmissible.
Speaking of gain-of-function research, Yan alleged that White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci knows "more than me how they approved those gain-of-function research findings to (fund) these Chinese labs under the CCP's control," possibly in reference to a Newsweek report alleging Fauci's organization funded gain-of-function research on bat coronavirus at the WIV.
In response to the question, do Western scientists prefer to engage in more dangerous research in communist China due to its notoriously lax safety standards? Yan cited the case of Dr. He Jiankui, who performed gene editing on human embryos to supposedly make them immune to HIV. Yan said that although such controversial experiments would never be allowed in Western countries, the Chinese government feigned ignorance and allowed the experiments to continue.
Indeed, a report by the health website STAT indicates government funding may have been used for He's project. She added that reports have surfaced appearing to show links between a number of American scientists and He's experiments.
She said this was illustrative of how dangerous and ethically questionable scientific experiments can be outsourced to China. Yan claimed that she attended a conference in which He gave a presentation and she questioned him on his research.
Yan said an ethos of making a profit without concern for ethical standards or fear of public health consequences allowed for gain-of-function experiments on coronavirus strains. She lamented the resulting pandemic has severely impacted global health and destroyed the world economy.
When asked if the CCP should be held accountable for the pandemic, Yan said that when she worked on vaccines and virus function testing in Chinese labs and carried out virus replication, "We never made just one type of virus we make a lot of strains of virus and stocked them and then later we would test their function, test their characteristics."
Yan emphasized that COVID-19 is not from nature, but rather it is "lab-modified." The virologist then appeared to indicate that other strains may have been released from PLA labs, which vaccines based on the previous versions would be unable to protect against.