Twitter has suspended the account of a Chinese virologist who believes COVID-19 was made in a lab and intentionally released. Tucker Carlson Tonight claims Facebook is trying to censor them.
This is what you see when you go to Tucker’s FB page (video, opposition opinions, and report below):
Click on the ‘i’ and you get two articles from factcheck.org and one from USA Today. They debunk her claims. Below, we have information from Newsweek listing six scientists who say her claims are wrong and not scientific.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a former researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, posted a paper on the open-access repository website Zenote. It was written with three colleagues. She said it shows how SARS-CoV-2 could be “conveniently created” in a laboratory setting in six months.
The paper, co-authored with two others, is titled “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route.”
It claims to note how “SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus.”
She said she will post another paper that will prove her contention. Yan also believes it was deliberately released and is the property of the Chinese military. She has no proof of that.
Dr. Yan and her colleagues are said to be affiliated with the Rule of Law Society. That group was founded by Steve Bannon and a businessman. Newsweek points out that Bannon was arrested for fraud and the Chinese businessman Guo Wengui fled China in 2014 on bribery and other charges.
Below we have the report and a report by six scientists who say the report proves nothing.
That being said…
TUCKER HAS DR LI-MENG YAN ON HIS SHOW
On Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday, Dr. Yan said the virus was manufactured by China. “I have evidence to show why they can do it, what they have done, how [they did it],” she told the Fox host.
“The scientific world also keeps silent… works together with the Chinese Communist Party, they don’t want people to know his truth. That’s why I get suspended, I get suppressed, I am the target that the Chinese Communist Party wants disappeared.”
After posting a clip of the interview segment, the Tucker Carlson Tonight Facebook page claimed the Mark Zuckerberg-led platform was attempting to censor the video.
A notice was placed on the footage that said: “The primary claims in the information are factually inaccurate.” Facebook shared links to three stories used for fact-checking.
A Tucker Carlson Tonight post on Twitter linking to the video remained active at the time of writing. The video of the segment was also still available on YouTube.
She Appeared on a British Talk Show
Yan’s paper came after an interview she gave on the British talk show “Loose Women,” on Friday. During the show, she repeated her claims that the coronavirus “comes from the lab — the lab in Wuhan and the lab is controlled by China’s government.”
She insisted that widespread reports that the virus originated last year from a wet market in Wuhan are “a smokescreen.”
“The first thing is the [meat] market in Wuhan … is a smoke screen and this virus is not from nature,” Yan claimed, explaining that she got “her intelligence from the CDC in China, from the local doctors.”
The virologist — who claims she did some of the earliest research into COVID-19 last year — has previously accused Beijing of lying about when it learned of the killer bug and engaging in an extensive cover-up of her work.
Now, she said, she is planning to release scientific evidence to prove that the virus was made inside a lab in Wuhan.
We anxiously await her next paper.
“The genome sequence is like a human fingerprint,” she told the talk show. “So based on this, you can identify these things. I use the evidence … to tell people why this has come from the lab in China, why they are the only ones who made it.”
Yan added, “Anyone, even if you have no biology knowledge, you can read it, and you can check and identify and verify by yourself.”
In April, Yan reportedly fled Hong Kong and escaped to America to raise awareness about the pandemic. She is said to have been hiding over fear for her safety.
Yan had said her former supervisors at the Hong Kong School of Public Health — a reference laboratory for the World Health Organization — silenced her when she sounded the alarm about human-to-human transmission in December last year.
She also claimed that before she fled China, her information was wiped from government databases
The lab has denied that Yan ever “conducted any research on human-to-human transmission.” They said her assertions have “no scientific basis.”
Dr. Siegel told Tucker her credentials look good. He wasn’t ruling it out.
SIX SCIENTISTS SELECTED BY NEWSWEEK NIX THE REPORT
According to six leading experts in evolutionary biology and infectious disease consulted by Newsweek, the paper offers no new information, makes numerous unsubstantiated claims and its scientific case is weak.
“This pre-print report cannot be given any credibility in its current form,” says Andrew Preston, an expert in microbial pathogenesis at the University of Bath in the U.K.
Yan points to restriction sites in the genetic sequence in her paper. She says it is evidence it was created in a lab. But “all DNA sequences in nature have restriction sites,” says Arinjay Banerjee, a virologist at McMaster University. “And it is not surprising that the SARS-CoV-2 genome also has restriction sites. The evidence presented here is anecdotal.”
Banerjee also cast doubt on the authors’ assertion that a feature called a furin-cleavage site—part of the virus’ spike protein, which it uses to attach to human cells—was deliberately inserted into the virus.
The paper, says Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis, is “filled with unsubstantiated claims.”
In a tweet, Carl Bergstrom, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle called the paper in a tweet “bizarre and unfounded.”
In a statement to ITV last week, a spokesperson for the University of Hong Kong, where Dr. Yan said she worked, stated, “Dr. Yan’s statement does not accord with the key facts as we understand them. They have no scientific basis but resemble hearsay.”
Claims that COVID-19 was made in a lab have been disputed by U.S. scientist Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci told National Geographic back in May this year, “If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”
Other scientists out of California have previously published a journal article mapping out the virus’ genetic sequence which they say proves “SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”
An assessment by the U.S. intelligence community in April said officials agreed with the consensus that the COVID-19 virus “was not man-made or genetically modified.”
Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route
Yan, Li-Meng; Kang, Shu; Guan, Jie; Hu, Shanchang
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has led to over 910,000 deaths worldwide and unprecedented decimation of the global economy. Despite its tremendous impact, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has remained mysterious and controversial. The natural origin theory, although widely accepted, lacks substantial support. The alternative theory that the virus may have come from a research laboratory is, however, strictly censored on peer-reviewed scientific journals. Nonetheless, SARS-CoV-2 shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus. In this report, we describe the genomic, structural, medical, and literature evidence, which, when considered together, strongly contradicts the natural origin theory. The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone. Building upon the evidence, we further postulate a synthetic route for SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that the laboratory-creation of this coronavirus is convenient and can be accomplished in approximately six months. Our work emphasizes the need for an independent investigation into the relevant research laboratories. It also argues for a critical look into certain recently published data, which, albeit problematic, was used to support and claim a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2. From a public health perspective, these actions are necessary as knowledge of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and of how the virus entered the human population are of pivotal importance in the fundamental control of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in preventing similar, future pandemics.