A Chinese virologist who fled to the United States because she feared she would be killed claimed the coronavirus came from a military laboratory.
Dr Li Meng-Yan, a specialist in virology at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, says she “clearly assessed” that Covid-19 was from a laboratory linked to the People’s Liberation Army.
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China has already faced allegations it covered the early days of the coronavirus outbreak and angrily dismissed claims that the virus could come from a lab.
Dr Li, however, claimed that the source of the outbreak was a military lab she discovered while studying person-to-person transmission of the virus.
Speaking in a live interview with Lude Press, she claimed she was not taken seriously when she reported her findings to her boss, Taiwan News reports.
Dr Li said, “At that time, I had clearly assessed that the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party military laboratory.
“The Wuhan wet market was just being used as a decoy. ”
Scientists currently believe the virus could have originated in a wet market in Wuhan if it has passed from animals to humans.
Dr Li was concerned that if she spoke up she would be kidnapped, so decided to flee to the United States from Hong Kong on a Cathay Pacific flight in April.
“I knew that once I spoke I could disappear at any time, like all the brave protesters in Hong Kong,” she said.
“I could disappear at any time. Even my name would no longer exist. ”
The University of Hong Kong has previously denied that it has conducted research into human-to-human transmission of the disease, and said its claims “did not match the basic facts.”
Previously, in an interview with Fox News, Dr Li claimed that she was one of the first people to start researching the new virus.
“The reason I came to the United States is because I am conveying the message of the truth about Covid,” she said.
Dr Li said his supervisor first asked him to conduct a “secret” investigation into a new “SARS-like” virus in Wuhan on December 31.
She said she then spoke with a number of contacts, including one who worked at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
She said the friend told her about an unknown virus that had emerged in Wuhan and that “family group cases”, an indicator of human-to-human transmission, had been observed.
Dr. Li claims that when she presented her findings to her supervisor, she was told to “keep quiet and be careful.”
“He warned me… ‘Hands off the red line,’” Dr Li said, referring to Beijing’s unspoken limits on such investigations.
Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold, the Chinese government has been accused of seeking to silence anyone who had previously tried to sound the alarm.
Doctors have reported being arrested after speaking out on social media about what they witnessed, while journalists have said they were harassed and their equipment confiscated after trying to report on the matter.
The virus has spread from China and has now infected 18 million people around the world and killed nearly 700,000 people.
China strongly denies any allegations of inappropriate behavior in its handling of the pandemic, but the United States continues to hammer it on the pandemic.
US President Donald Trump continues to call the pandemic the “China virus” and has accused China of covering up the virus.
The Trump administration has even gone so far as to suggest the pathogen could be human – and they have “evidence.”
China has recorded 84,385 cases and 4,634 deaths, while the United States has recorded 4.7 million and 157,905 deaths.
Taking a hard line, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “free nations” of the world to help confront China.
Mr. Pompeo warned: “If the free world doesn’t change Communist China, Communist China will change us. ”
The pandemic has seen diplomatic relations plunge, with the United States and China ordering the other to shut down consulates in a stunned row.
The United States has pledged to withdraw funding from the World Health Organization over claims it is “China-centric.”
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Meanwhile, a bomb spy case claimed China lied to the world about the coronavirus by covering up the outbreak.
The dossier, from the Five Eyes intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, stated that China’s secrecy surrounding the virus has led to ” attack on international transparency ”.
He said: “Despite evidence of human-to-human transmission since early December, authorities in the PRC deny it until January 20. ”
The scientific consensus is that Covid-19 is from the Chinese city of Wuhan, but there is so far no concrete evidence linking it to a Chinese laboratory.