Chinese virologist who attracted global attention after spreading a conspiracy theory that China was responsible for creating and releasing SARS-CoV-2 has suggested this week she could be killed as a result of her disclosures.
Li-Meng Yan, a former post-doctoral fellow at Hong Kong University, said in an interview with Spanish TV channel Telecinco Thursday that Chinese authorities have spread false rumors in an attempt to ruin her reputation after she refused to remain silent.”What I am going to do is spread the message as much as possible and show the facts so that people can verify them before they kill me. Everyone has to know the truth and they are not going to scare me,” she told television host Iker Jiménez.
Yan reiterated the claim her initial concerns about the origins of the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19—which she maintains was made in a lab before intentionally being released by China—were previously silenced by her superiors.
Her research is affiliated with the Rule of Law Society, a nonprofit organization founded by Steve Bannon, the former adviser to President Donald Trump who is currently facing unrelated fraud charges. It claims to refute the accepted “natural origin theory.”
Virology experts maintain the evidence suggests SARS-CoV-2 was likely to have first transmitted to humans from an animal source, potentially bats or pangolins.
The first paper, released September 14, asserted without evidence that a natural origin theory lacked support and instead proposed SARS-CoV-2 was lab-made, claiming that it showed “biological characteristics… inconsistent with a natural zoonotic virus.”
A second paper, published October 8, went further by accusing the scientific community of “corruption” and defining SARS-CoV-2 as a “bioweapon.” The paper was brande