Self-exiled Chinese virologist publishes report claiming COVID-19 was made in a lab

Published (HKT): 2020.09.16 06:34

The coronavirus that has caused the global COVID-19 pandemic was made in a laboratory and could be created in six months, according to a journal article published by Yan Meng-li, a virologist who escaped from China.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus “shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus,” according to the report titled “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probably Synthetic Route.”

“The genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 has likely undergone genetic engineering, through which the virus has gained the ability to target humans with enhanced virulence and infectivity,” Yan wrote in the paper uploaded to open-access repository Zenodo. It is unlikely to have been peer-reviewed.

Yan said similar findings that the virus was created in a laboratory had been heavily censored in peer-reviewed journals. She called for an independent investigation into relevant laboratories and a critical review of evidence of the virus' origin.

Yan, currently residing in the United States, earlier told Fox News that her findings were ignored by her colleagues at the University of Hong Kong, where she used to work as a virologist. She decided to flee Hong Kong for Los Angeles after she felt that her findings would put her at risk.

Speaking on a British talk show aired on ITV last week, Yan claimed that the virus was from a government-controlled laboratory in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 outbreak is believed to have originated.

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