China would kill me for revealing the truth about Covid cover-up
Published by The Mail on Sunday (12th July, 2020)
A Chinese scientist who fled Hong Kong says she is putting her life in danger to warn the world how Beijing covered up of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
Li-Meng Yan, a virologist at Hong Kong School of Public Health, said she fled China because she ‘knows how they treat whistleblowers.’ Fearing she would be ‘disappeared and killed’ if she tried to speak out in China, she escaped ‘to deliver the message of the truth of Covid 19.’
The researcher says both the Chinese government and senior members of her faculty, who include leading global experts on coronaviruses, suppressed evidence the new disease was transmissible to humans when it erupted last year.
Her explosive claims add to concerns the Communist Party leadership in Beijing hid details of the virus from the world.
Dr Yan, now hiding in a secret location in the United States, said she was one of the first experts asked to probe the mysterious cluster of cases emerging in the central Chinese city last year. She alleges she was given the task by Professor Leo Poon, her Oxford-educated supervisor at the university. The Hong Kong centre is a World Health Organisation (WHO) reference laboratory specialising in viruses and pandemics.
‘The China government refused to let overseas experts, including Hong Kong ones, do research in China,’ she told Fox News, backing previous claims that even the WHO was barred from sending its investigators into Wuhan.
So Dr Yan, who grew up in mainland China, turned to friends to find out the facts. They included an expert at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, who told her on December 31 there were ‘family cluster cases’ indicating human-to-human transmission.
This dovetails with other evidence that Chinese doctors realised the new virus was spreading among humans by the middle of that month, fuelled by many medical staff in hospitals falling ill after treating patients.
Dr Yan says that when she told Professor Poon ‘he just nodded’ and told her to keep working. A few days later on January 9 the WHO put out a statement backing Chinese claims that the virus ‘does not transmit readily among people.’
One study by a Sino-British team found that if Beijing had acted at turn of the year by locking down the city, the number of cases could have been reduced 95 per cent. Even moving two weeks later, one week faster than they actually acted, could have cut cases by about two-thirds.
Yet Chinese officials claimed in early January that risk of human transmission was ‘low’. They failed to admit this vital fact until January 20 – after a huge annual feast was held in Wuhan and vast numbers of citizens moved around the nation for new year celebrations. The city was locked down three days later.
Dr Yan said she found researchers in China stopped sharing information, saying they could not talk about the virus but letting slip they had to wear masks. It emerged later that doctors trying to warn about the virus were silenced by security forces.
The scientist, alarmed by growing evidence of epidemic and scared doctors, claims to have passed on findings again to her supervisor on January 16 but he warned her to ‘keep silent and be careful.’
Dr Yan said Professor Poon urged her not to ‘touch the red line’ or they would both be in trouble and ‘disappeared.’ She decided to flee after secret discussions with a US-based blogger. She urged her husband, who also worked at the laboratory, to join her but he become angry, saying ‘they will kill all of us.’
The scientist flew to Los Angeles on April 28th, saying she told customs officials upon arrival: ‘I’m the one who came to tell the truth here of COVID-19. Please protect me. If not, the China government will kill me.’
Sources have told The Mail on Sunday that she has been debriefed by both the FBI and CIA. She claims that Chinese authorities have since torn apart her apartment, harassed her parents and smeared her online as suffering from mental illness.
Dr Yan’s allegations highlight how doctors in Wuhan knew early on they were dealing with a dangerously-contagious disease but both regional and national governments covered it up. They were aided by the weakness of the WHO.
Earlier this month the WHO changed its timeline on Covid-19 to confirm it ‘picked up’ details of the new disease on December 31 rather than, as previously implied, being informed by Wuhan health authorities about ‘cases of viral pneumonia’.
The Mail on Sunday revealed that censored Chinese media reports show at least five laboratories confirmed existence of a deadly new coronavirus before China told global health authorities about an infectious disease it claimed was unidentified.
One team found the virus was ‘clearly contagious’ while others had unravelled its genetic composition – vital for making diagnostic tests and vaccines. Yet this was hidden by Beijing until the sequence was published on an open-access platform for a Shanghai professor, whose laboratory was instantly shut down for ‘rectification’.
The Chinese government insists it has acted in exemplary manner over the pandemic, despite making claims it began elsewhere. Professor Poon did not respond to an email asking for comment.