New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to The Sunday Guardian, Dr Li-Meng Yan, who specialises in virology and immunology at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, which is affiliated to the World Health Organization (WHO), said that the Chinese government covered up the dangers of the Covid-19 virus in collaboration with the WHO, as a result of which the virus spread globally and infected millions while crippling the world economy like never before. Yan, who fled to the United States in April for fear of being targeted because of her exposé, also said that it was crystal clear that the virus was modified in a laboratory.

She spoke to The Sunday Guardian through Skype from an undisclosed location. Edited excerpts:

Q: How did you come to know about Covid-19 virus?

A: I was working in the WHO reference laboratory in the University of Hong Kong. It is also the top-ranked coronavirus laboratory in the world by Elsevier. I was assigned to investigate this because I was working with them for five years and I was among the core team members. I have got my medical degree and PhD degree from the two top medical universities in China; so I have a vast network among medical experts, practitioners, hospitals, authorities, laboratories, including the military ones. I was the only one involved in that laboratory who could speak Mandarin. My supervisor, WHO consultant Professor Leo Poon, secretly asked me to do the investigation from 31 December 2019 to know what exactly was happening in cases of this new “pneumonia” in Wuhan since he had to write a report to the government. All this was happening amidst the lack of information from China. I started investigating my old network and I found that 40 confirmed cases had already happened in Wuhan by 31 December, but the government had stated that only 27 cases had happened. Human-to-human transmission was evident and had been happening even then. There were clear medical markers to show that human-to-human transmission was happening. The government, however, was not allowing the people to talk about it as a result of which there was no protection, no isolation, no diagnosis of the cases; because  of which more and more medical staff and people were exposed to the virus.

Later, the government started spreading that the virus had come from the seafood market, which is a smokescreen. No animal was involved as an intermediate host, which the government tried to make people believe.

Q: Then what happened?

A: I communicated all this to my supervisor and to another co-head of the WHO laboratory, Professor Malik Peiris. They all knew it, but they hid it. My supervisor told me to be careful and not to cross the “red line”.

Q: Why are you saying it is a man-made virus?

A: Based on my investigation from 31 December and the study of genome sequence, it is clear that the virus was developed in a military laboratory. The genomes that are found in the coronavirus found in bats, were modified to become harmful human viruses.

That’s why I decided to come out because I know no one else will. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initially said there was no human-to-human transmission and there was nothing to worry, all these have been proved false. On 17 January, I decided to contact a Chinese blogger based in the US so that through him, I could share the truth to the world about coronavirus. I chose him since I had to reach out to someone who will not tell this to the CCP and sell me. I spent two days trying to make him understand the evidence and convince him.

Q: Why would China infect its own people?

A: We can only assume the motive; it is the CCP which needs to tell this to the world. For almost a century, the CCP has been ruling the country, now all kinds of movements have started in the country. People in China are looking for change. I grew up under this government for more than 30 years and I can say that this dictatorship government does not care about its people. For them, human life is not important.

Q: Why did you leave Hong Kong in April? Why not before that? And why go to the US? The Chinese government is saying that you are working on the orders of the US government.

A: They have charged me of doing far more than what you are saying. Why April? In the beginning, I was not aware that this would turn out to be this big (the investigation). A series of policy changes took place (in China with regard to Covid-19) after the YouTube broadcast, but still the CCP tried to cover up and collaborate with WHO to hide whatever I had said. I realised that the CCP government was going to get angry with me. I was seeing what was happening in Hong Kong and the way the government was clamping down on the protesters.

It is difficult for me to stay hidden, because I want to work. In mid-April, I was told that I was in danger. Also, I realised that things were getting worse and the virus was being allowed to spread, despite telling people concerned how dangerous the virus was, but China was still allowing people to go in and out of Wuhan.

I decided to leave Hong Kong and came to the US on 28 April. Now, I have the support of the relevant people of the US government. These people, after reading my first report, are convinced that I am telling the truth.

Q: Have you been approached by the Chinese government, formally or informally, post your revelations? If yes, what have they said?

A: They have. When I was on the flight to the US, the Hong Kong police and Chinese agencies informed the Beijing state security about my departure and police officials descended at my home, started questioning my parents. Ten policemen searched my 20 sq meter home in Hong Kong for hours.

They have put criminal cases against me. I left Hong Kong on 28 April and that was my annual leave time and during my annual leave, they shut down my portal. I cannot access my email, they have deleted my website page on Hong Kong University. Professor Malik Peiris had been abruptly retired. All kinds of cyber attacks are being staged against me and fake profiles being created in my name to discredit me. The cyber military of China is putting a lot of effort to discredit me and raise doubts about my qualifications.

Q: Twitter recently took down your account. Have you approached Twitter as to why they did this? Have they given any reason?

A: No reason. I just used my Twitter account to publish my report and just after 24 hours, for no reason, my account got suspended. Also, I have another anonymous Twitter account, which no one knows, but because I use the same iPhone to operate both the accounts, the anonymous one too was suspended.

Many people have complained to Twitter about this, but Twitter, Facebook, Instagram have not given any response. Even those who share my report, their posts too are being restricted. Twitter is supporting fake accounts about me, but restricting the one that I am operating.

Q: Dr Yan, you are saying that if it is something that was made in the laboratory, I am sure you have some kind of evidence to prove this?

A: I have two reports—one is published and one I am working on which will prove that the virus was made in a laboratory. You don’t need to trust me on this, you can verify by yourself as I am going to write it in as simple words as possible for the ordinary reader to understand. I am going to quote over 100 reference papers at the end of my report to tell you who and how this was done. The virus genome is like a human’s fingerprint and it is clear that two viruses were “joined” to produce a harmful one. One of my reports is already published on this.

Some of the top and famous scientists are supporting the theory of “natural origin” (of the virus) of the Chinese Communist Party, for different reasons and trying to suppress my theory. They are using lies and misinformation to cheat people since people cannot read scientific reports by themselves. That’s why Twitter banned me as soon as I released my report.

Q: So, Dr Yan, do you think that China has already developed some kind of a vaccine for Covid-19, but is not declaring it?

A: No, please don’t trust the vaccine China might have developed. The Chinese government has never developed any vaccine by themselves. If you check history you can see that. Chinese people who have enough money never buy any vaccine developed in China because the quality is suspect. They always prefer to spend more money and get the imported one.

Q: You plan to stay in the US and work?

A: The US is the only country which can lead an investigation to hold the CCP responsible for this pandemic. US officials are in contact with me and I have already provided evidence to them, we are working together. Everyone deserves the truth no matter, everyone should spend some time to study these things to understand and understand that this (Covid 19) should never have ever happened. No one should have got hurt from this pandemic. This has already happened and it will come out again and again because you cannot trust people who did it before and have to put this Chinese regime accountable.

Q: You are saying that the people who are responsible for this should be held accountable. Can you tell me who these people are?

A: This was intentionally released. In the very beginning, it should have never ever happened. So who should be accountable? It is not an individual thing. Any individual cannot do such a big thing in such an organised way. The Chinese Communist Party is behind it. With this regime, you can never solve this problem. The second thing is all the people, no matter from whichever country, who were involved and collaborated with this government to cover up, should be responsible for their mistake which has harmed global health.