When virologist Yan Li-Meng presented her findings of human-to-human transmission capability of COVID-19, she was warned not to "touch the red line" and to be careful about her comments. She is currently in hiding at an undisclosed location fearing a threat to her life from Chinese authorities.
Hong Kong university virologist Yan Li-Meng
Chinese virologist Yan Li-Meng on has said
that the Chinese government knew of the outbreak of Corona virus from Wuhan since December but did everything to hide the information from going out of China as it could damage its international image.
The former researcher at the University of Hong Kong accused China of cover-up in an interview with Fox News. She said that she believed the Chinese authorities knew about the deadly virus well before it was made public. Yan, who previously worked at the university's World Health Organization (WHO) reference lab, also said her supervisors had ignored her research on human-to-human transmission at the start of the pandemic, which could potentially have saved many lives.
Yan is currently in hiding at an undisclosed location fearing a threat to her life from Chinese authorities. Yan in the interview said that she fled Hong Kong for the U.S. on a Cathay Pacific flight on April 28, as she feared that she would be "disappeared and killed" by China just like other whistle-blowers if she shared her findings in Hong Kong. Yan said she had come to the US to narrate the truth of COVID-19 to the world and the role of China and WHO in the Pandemic.
Yan reiterated that several Chinese scientists had tried to warn the public about the virus when the outbreak started but later were forced to either change their version or disappeared all of a sudden. Many were warned by the Chinese government not to pursue the matter. She informed Fox news that medical workers in China were prohibited from discussing the virus but were asked to wear masks.
A Chinese news portal run from outside China, reports
that in the same interview to Fox news, Yan said that she became aware of the human-to-human transmission capability of COVID-19 first in late December when a scientist at China's Center for Disease Control (CDC) shared data with her. However, when she presented her findings to her supervisors on Jan. 16, she was warned not to "touch the red line" and to be careful about her comments.
Yan also claimed that WHO advisor Malik Peiris knew about the spread of the disease but chose not to take action. Peiris was the co-director of a WHO-affiliated lab but he stepped down on July 3.
China has always claimed that it did not withhold information about the nature and its human-to-human transmission capability of the Wuhan virus. WHO which always toed China's line on the virus, had in January said that there was no proof of the human-to-human transmission of the virus. Now, after Yan's claims, both the versions of China and WHO stands contradicted.
WHO Chairman Tedros had repeatedly said that he was in touch with Chinese scientists with respect to the spread of the Wuhan virus. But the many WHO authorities had claimed that the organisation received relevant information from scientists within the organisation and not from Chinese authorities as claimed by Tedros.