Yuan Zhimin, director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, called information about three Wuhan Institute of Virology employees falling ill in November 2019 “an absolute fabrication,” China’s People’s Daily Online reported Thursday, July 22.
“Some media reports claim that three employees of the Wuhan Laboratory Institute went to the hospital in November 2019 and had symptoms similar to those of COVID-19. This is an absolute fabrication sucked out of thin air. If the facts need to be established, it is very easy to do so. We just need these journalists to tell us the names of these three employees, and everything will become obvious,” said a researcher from the Institute during a press conference at the Information Office of the State Council devoted to tracing the new coronavirus.
According to him, the laboratory has made such a proposal for a long time, but has not received a response. He also said that the Wuhan Institute of Virology had not encountered or studied SARS-CoV-2 until Dec. 30, 2019.
“Second, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has never developed, created or allowed SARS-CoV-2 to leak. Third, to date, no staff or students at the institute have been infected with the coronavirus,” Zhimin continued.
In addition, he pointed out that the Wuhan National Laboratory has been designed, built, and operated in accordance with international requirements and national standards. Not only does it have robust biosafety safeguards in place, but it also has a team of professional support, management and technical staff.
Earlier Thursday, China rejected the plan for a second phase of the coronavirus origin investigation, calling the language used by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the context of the second phase of the investigation disrespectful to science. The PRC also opposed politicizing the investigation into the origin of the virus, stressing that it would only approve investigations based on a scientific approach.
On May 23, The Wall Street Journal drew attention to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s November 2019 illness. Journalists believe that the illness may speak to the fidelity of the COVID-19 theory of artificial origin, as the scientists allegedly contracted the coronavirus and had related symptoms.
On May 20, the U.S. House Intelligence Committee said there was “circumstantial evidence” to support information that the coronavirus leak came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The U.S. representatives cited information that back in 2017, China had warned U.S. diplomats that the Wuhan lab was engaged in “dangerous coronavirus research without following mandatory safety protocols.” Among other things, scientists involved in the development of the virus were seen in 2019 with symptoms now seen in coronavirus infections.
In turn, the official representative of the Foreign Ministry of China Hua Chunying noted that Chinese scientists have also repeatedly denied this information, and American journalists even visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where they received a detailed explanation of the situation with the coronavirus. Also, she said, the Chinese media repeatedly cited figures and facts refuting the allegations of COVID-19 leakage from the laboratory.