Chinese Whistleblower Suspended by Twitter After Saying China Created COVID-19
Dr. Li-Meng Yan says Chinese Communist Party 'intentionally' released coronavirus
A leading virologist-turned-whistleblower, who says she fled China to warn the world about her coronavirus research, has been suspended by Twitter after claiming the Chinese Communist Party created COVID-19 in a lab and "intentionally" released it onto the public.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, who was studying the early outbreak of COVID-19 in China, has published a new report claiming she has proof that the Chinese government manufactured and released the coronavirus that led to mass shutdowns and deaths across the world.
Doctor Yan published her claims on Zenodo, an open-access digital platform.
The scientist wrote that she believes COVID-19 was “conveniently created” within a lab setting over a period of just six months.
“SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus,” Yan states in her report.
After going public with her findings this week, however, social media has moved to suppress her claims, with Twitter suspending her account while Facebook has restricted posts of her interviews and flagged the information as "false."
Li-Meng Yan's account was taken down on Tuesday after she accused China of intentionally manufacturing and releasing COVID-19, according to The Daily Mail.
The Twitter account remained down on Wednesday and a message on the page now reads: "Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules."
It comes as Yan published a report this week that she claims backs up her theory that China created the virus in a lab.
Some scientists have since said her report is "unsubstantiated" and said it "cannot be given any credibility."
Yan's report has not been published in a scientific journal and has not been peer-reviewed - meaning it has not been checked and approved by fellow scientists.
The study was produced by the Rule of Law Society and the Rule of Law Foundation, sister organizations that former Trump strategist Steve Bannon founded with 50-year-old Chinese defector Guo Wengui.
Yan, who claims she fled to the US in April, says she was working at the Hong Kong School of Public Health - a reference laboratory for the World Health Organisation - before she was cut off after trying to alert people to human-to-human transmission of the virus in December.
The lab has denied that Yan ever "conducted any research on human-to-human transmission" and said her assertions have "no scientific basis."
In her report released this week, Yan claims the virus was built by merging the genetic material of two bat coronaviruses.
She claims its spike protein – a structure on the surface of the virus which it uses to bind with cells – was edited to make it easier for the virus to latch on to human cells.
Other research papers have already determined the origin of the virus as bats, which has resulted in top experts dismissing suggestions the virus was created by humans.
Yan writes that her research discounts the theory that coronavirus evolved in the wild and was then transferred to humans, claiming it "lacks substantial support."
"SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring virus," she wrote.
"The evidence shows that [the virus] should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone."
She alleges the virus "should" have been built using stores of these bat viruses, of which she claims samples are kept in Hong Kong and China.
Yan also alleges that her work shows the virus could be built in just six months in the report's abstract but she does not return to the subject later in the paper.
Yan's claims are at odds with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has previously disputed that the virus was made in a lab.
Yan wrote in her paper that theories the virus is from nature and the meat market in Wuhan are a "smokescreen."
She alleges she was told this by CDC scientists working in China.
She has previously accused Beijing of lying about when it learned of the killer infection and engaging in an extensive cover-up.
US state officials have given momentum to the idea that COVID-19 either leaked from a lab or was man-made by China as some kind of weapon against humanity.
A Wuhan wet market was first thought to be the breeding ground of the virus, where the selling of live, wild animals would have given the perfect opportunity for it to naturally spread between species.
It is thought the virus first developed in bats before passing on to a creature such as a pangolin that then came into contact with humans and transmitted the virus.
Once it entered humans, the coronavirus is likely to have mutated to survive and then escalated out of control as a result of an unprepared population.
There are also theories that the virus was genetically engineered by scientists, or that it has actually been around for years and even killed people in the past.
Two high-security laboratories in the city – the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and the Wuhan Institute of Virology – have been the subject of many conspiracy theories.
President Donald Trump says he has seen evidence the virus, which he solely blames China for, came from Wuhan Institute of Virology – but he is not allowed to reveal it.
The Institute has denied the claims from the early days of the outbreak.
In April, Trump said: "We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened."
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, claimed in May there is "enormous evidence" the coronavirus outbreak originated in a Chinese laboratory – but failed to provide any of the alleged evidence.
Pompeo's claims, made in an interview with ABC's This Week, came after he said the US was investigating the theory.
"There is enormous evidence that that's where this began," he said.
"I can tell you that there is a significant amount of evidence that this came from that laboratory in Wuhan," he said on May 3.
The "best experts so far seem to think it was manmade" by scientists, rather than it being a natural virus that escaped during research, Pompeo stated.