Last week, the Chinese state-run media called for the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where many conspiracy theories believe the COVID-19 virus originated from, to receive a Nobel Prize despite mounting criticisms as investigators are once again revisiting the lab leak theory.
During an interview, Dr. Shi Zhengli, who is also known as the "Bat Lady" for her work, emotionally denied the Wuhan Lab's involvement in the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many reports have come out that suggest China's secrecy regarding the pandemic sow doubts of Shi's statements.
Zhao Lijiang, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, supported Shi and her lab, arguing that just because Wuhan scientists were the first ones in the world to discover the gene sequences of novel coronavirus did not mean they were responsible for the outbreak.
The official argued that if the first publication of a high-quality virus sequence was grounds to blame the person responsible, Professor Luc Antoine Montagnier should have been blamed for HIV. However, some have said that China's attempt to award the lab with a celebratory prize suggests the government was not planning on changing anything despite the pandemic, Fox News reported.
Despite the craziness of the lab leak theory, the secrecy of the Chinese government regarding the Wuhan lab warranted the NIH, WHO and Dr. Fauci to say that an investigation was at least justifiable. The conspiracy is further fueled by the fact that no bat has been found to be carrying the COVID-19 virus.
Similarly, some scientists who initially dismissed the lab leak theory are now saying the claim should be investigated further. Some even announced they were only hesitant to show support previously in fears of being labeled racists.
The Nobel Prize should be awarded to people or research groups who have succeeded in demonstrating outstanding achievements in the past five years, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said while arguing they should be recipients of the prize.
Renewed Conspiracy Theories
Recently, talks about the Wuhan lab being the origin of the COVID-19 virus have been regaining traction. However, the China state-run media has called accusations of the Wuhan lab were slanderous and baseless.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said the WIV was able to identify the pathogen after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, completed the entire virus genome sequencing and virus isolation at breakneck speeds. The institute was also able to compare and identify the similarities between the coronavirus and the SARS virus.
The Wuhan lab was reportedly nominated for the CAS' "2021 Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize" by the Chinese state-run media. The media also recognized Shi as being nominated as an "outstanding contributor," Yahoo News reported.
The state-run media claimed that the WIV did outstanding work related to the coronavirus, impacting millions of lives worldwide. They also said that the breakthroughs of Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford and Johnson & Johnson in the last 18 months would not have been possible without the early works of the Wuhan laboratory, National Review reported.
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