Amid the raging controversy over whether US chief virologist Anthony Fauci took a wrong call on the origins of the virus, a Chinese virologist has reiterated her argument that the coronavirus strain that wreaked havoc on the world was indeed a potent bioweapon.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan who was among the first experts to say that a Wuhan lab leak could have caused the COvid-29 outbreak, repeated her charge that the coronavirus was a bioweapon and Fauci had known this but tried to hide it.
'These People Knew what Happened'
In an interview with US conservative news network Newsmax, Li-Meng Yan said Fauci's went to prove that he was in the know of the origins of the virus.
"These people knew what happened, but they chose to hide for the Chinese Communist Party and their own benefits,' Yan, a strident critic of the Chinese government, said.
"The causative agent of COVID-19, is not a naturally occurring pathogen but an Unrestricted Bioweapon. It is a product of the bioweapons program of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government, the network of which includes not only the CCP scientists but also certain overseas scientists and organizations," she had earlier written in one of her reports.
Various reports emerged earlier this week that Fauci may have been aware of the origins of the virus and ignored evidence. Fauci had ignored the warnings issued by virus researchers about the strong possibility of coronavirus being 'lab engineered', the reports said. The virus expert was apprised about the possibility in an email sent in January 2020, barely a month after the virus was first reported from the Wuhan province of China.
Suspicions grew when Fauci took a U-turn after US President Joe Biden ordered a probe into the possibility of it being lab generated. He had, up until then, taken the the position that wCOVID-19 was a natural virus. Fauci's strong stance on this had helped paint President Donald Trump as a Sinophobe who unnecessarily peddled a lab leak theory that had no ground. Fauci's repudiation of the Trump theory had helped the Democrats score crucial political mileage against him.
Though Trump was vilified for the Wuhan lab leak theory, months later, Biden ordered a probe into the lab leak angle. The UK government also asked the intelligence agencies to assess the theory, following which it upgraded the theory's credibility from 'remote' to 'feasible'.
The revelation of a horde of emails from Fauci added fuel to fire.
According to the Chinese virologist, SARS-CoV-2 was created based on template viruses ZC45 and ZXC21, which were originally discovered in bats by scientists of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
"The subsequent laboratory modifications had enabled its ability to infect humans as well as had enhanced the virus in its pathogenicity, transmissibility, and lethality," she had written in March 2020.
"We used biological evidence and in-depth analyses to show that SARS-CoV-2 must be a laboratory product, which was created by using a template virus (ZC45/ZXC21) owned by military research laboratories under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government," she wrote in the paper.
"In addition, resources and expertise are all in place in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and related, other CCP-controlled institutions allowing the creation of SARS-CoV-2 in approximately six months," she added.
An MIT peer review was conducted on her paper and the conclusion of the experts was this: "If valid, these lines of evidence would support the disturbing claim that SARS-CoV-2 is a man-made virus; however, if the claims are not adequately substantiated, this work is defamatory, grossly negligent, and ethically dubious."
Despite growing worldwide pressure China maintained the stance that the virus simply mutated from animals and passed naturally to humans. The World Health Organization also came up with a report that literally absolved the Chinese of any suspicion, but that finding has called into question later on.