The Chinese virologist who fled from China to the United States after claiming that Beijing tried to cover up the origin of the coronavirus says she has proof the deadly virus was manmade.
Previously, Dr Li Meng-Yan supported accusations that China attempted to gag anyone who tried to speak about the truth about the coronavirus when it was first discovered last year in Wuhan.
Manmade global pandemic
According to The Sun, the scientist fled to the United States in late April before openly speaking out about her claims. Li revealed she was forced to leave Hong Kong in fears of what Beijing could do to punish whistleblowers.
During the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic, several doctors who went to social media warning the public about the COVID-19 virus were reportedly detained. Journalists were also affected as authorities moved to confiscate their equipment when trying to report on the matter.
Dr Li was a former specialist at Hong Kong's School of Public Helth and was told by her supervisor to investigate a newly-emerging SARS-like virus in Wuhan on December 31. However, she also said that higher-ups later restricted her efforts on the research.
The scientist claims that when she reported about the worrying exponential rise of positive cases of the virus, authorities told her to be silent and careful. Her supervisor allegedly warned her that they would get into trouble and would be made to disappear.
Li also supported claims that the coronavirus did not originate from a meat market in Wuhan as is widely believed, but rather, was manmade inside a virology institute in the city. She added that the claims of the virus coming from the public was a smokescreen used by the Chinese government.
The scientist previously accused Beijing of lying about the coronavirus after she learned about the fatal virus and that the Chinese government conducted widespread disinformation to hide the truth, as reported by the New York Post.
Dr Li has recently claimed that she has sufficient evidence to prove that the coronavirus was made inside a laboratory. During an interview, the scientist said that the genome sequence of the virus is similar to a human's fingerprint.
The virologist said that based on the evidence, experts could determine that the COVID-19 virus was, in fact, created by human hands. She also claims that even people who have no knowledge about biology can understand the evidence and be sure of her accusations.
The scientist said she is now planning to reveal the evidence to the public because she would regret it if it causes the world to lose the battle against the deadly virus. Li said that before she departed from China, officials removed all traces of her data from government databases.
During the interview, Li claims that Beijing hired several people to spread rumors about her and call her a liar, arguing her claims were unfounded.
The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Yuan Zhiming, previously denied rumors that a fatal virus accidentally got out from his facility. In April, Zhiming told the state media that there was no plausible way the coronavirus came from them.