- Li-Meng Yan accused China of fabricating the genome data of the RaTG13 virus
- The bat coronavirus is widely believed as the source of the ongoing pandemic
- Yan had previously alleged COVID-19 was ‘man-made’ and ‘not from nature’
- Fellow scientists had slammed Ms Yan’s sensational claims as ‘unsubstantiated’
- Twitter also suspended her account due to her disputed virus allegations
A Chinese virologist who claims the coronavirus was cooked up in a military lab has accused Beijing of fabricating the virus genome data to cover up its ‘unrestricted bioweapon’.
Although scientists are still unravelling the origin of the pandemic, it is widely suggested that the virus had jumped onto humans from wild animals, such as bats or pangolins.
On January 11, China publicly released the genetic sequence of COVID-19 and shared it with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Li-Meng Yan, an alleged former researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, said Thursday in a new report that the coronavirus was a ‘laboratory product’ created by the Communist government with a template virus.
Yan also claimed the ‘weaponised pathogen’ was intentionally unleashed by the Chinese authorities rather than accidentally.
A bat coronavirus, known as RaTG13, is commonly believed by researchers as the proximal source of SARS‐CoV‐2.
It came after the Chinese ‘batwoman’, Dr. Zheng-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published an article on Nature in February.
Dr Shi suggested that the coronavirus had originated in bats carrying RaTG13, which was shown to be over 96 per cent identical to the COVID-19 virus.
A genomic sequence of the bat coronavirus has also been published on GenBank, a database owned by he International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration.
But Yan disputed the generally-accepted theory, adding that the genome data of RaTG13 could have been faked.
She wrote in her new report: ‘However, no live virus or an intact genome of RaTG13 have ever been isolated or recovered. Therefore, the only proof for the ‘existence’ of RaTG13 in nature is its genomic sequence published on GenBank.’
The virologist also said in the paper that the virus ‘was created by using a template virus (ZC45/ZXC21) owned by military research laboratories under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government’.