In an interview with China's state-run news outlet, CGTN, Yuan Zhiming -- the director of Wuhan Virology lab talked exclusively about the controversy and conspiracy theories surrounding the lab, which places it in the middle of novel coronavirus pandemic.
A mere conspiracy theory, a week ago, the Wuhan lab being the primary source of SARS-CoV-2 was mainstreamed by American politicians, including its top-leadership, viz President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
What did Wuhan Virology lab's Director say?
In an interview with CGTN, asked if the virus originated from the virology lab, "there's no way this virus came from us," Director Yuan Zhiming said.
Although claims that the virus originated from the Wuhan lab first surfaced in February, Chinese scientists have consistently held that most probably, it jumped from an animal, probably bats, to humans at a local wet market, where all kinds of exotic animals were slaughtered for consumption. The claim that coronavirus' 'Patient zero' was an intern at the lab, has been widely cited by media as well as American leadership.
Speaking on the issue, Yuan said that none of his staff had been infected, adding that the "whole institute is carrying out research in different areas related to the coronavirus." Asked, if the research suggested that the virus could have come from the lab, he said: "I know it's impossible."
"As people who carry out viral studies we clearly know what kind of research is going on at the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples," he added. He said that since the lab is situated in Wuhan, where the virus first originated, "people can't help but make associations."
Zhiming slammed certain 'media outlets'
He slammed certain 'media outlets' for "deliberately trying to mislead people". Washington Post reported on Tuesday, April 14, that the US intelligence had warned the government of lax safety measures at the lab. In a report on Thursday, April 16, Fox News reported that there is high confidence that the virus originated from the Wuhan lab, not as a bio-weapon, but to showcase China's capability in identifying and combating various viruses.
Fox News, later reported that the US has opened a full-scale investigation into the possible origin of a novel coronavirus from the Wuhan Virology lab. Commenting on the above reports, Yuan said that they are "entirely based on speculation" without "evidence or knowledge". On Friday, April 17, Wuhan -- the initial epicentre of novel coronavirus outbreak, increased its virus death by a whopping 50 percent, from 2,579 fatalities to 3,869.