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A doctor in China fled her own country to reveal the truth about COVID-19, which some speculate may have originated in a military lab in Wuhan. This comes as China and the World Health Organization have deliberately suppressed crucial facts about the contagion.
Li-Meng Yan fled China in April in order to bring the truth about the virus to the U.S. Yan's family and friends have reportedly been threatened and interrogated by communist party officials since she departed, according to News.com.au.
Yan was working as a virologist last December at Hong Kong University's public health laboratory sciences division—a World Health Organization infectious diseases research center, the outlet reported.
Professor Leo Poon, Yan's superior, assigned her the duty of investigating a mysterious cluster of SARS-like virus cases that were cropping up in Wuhan, China.
Yan learned by January that the family of clusters appearing in Wuhan cases was due to human-to-human transmission, and that other scientists in China had successfully sequenced the COVID-19 genome.
Beijing was reportedly unwilling to be open about the flurry of information that was being discovered about the virus, instead choosing to suppress the information. "They didn't want public discussion. They were telling people not to worry," Yan said.
Yan was not the only medical official who made efforts to get the truth about the contagion out there. It was reported that on January 23, eight doctors were taken into custody for putting warnings about the contagion on social media. The authorities insisted that these bits of information were hoaxes, ending in the death of Dr. Li Wenliang on February 7.
Despite the death toll ramping up, doctors were told only to diagnose cases linked to Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Market.
“I realized this was an emergency for the world,” she shared with fox Fox News. “I could not stay silent.”
Though Yan reported her findings, she was told by one supervisor to "keep silent and be careful," according to News.com.au. With the growing fear that suppression of information could lead to more deaths, Yan decided to fly to the U.S. She left behind a husband and one child.
It was reported that she was well aware that she may never see her family again, but that she would have been "disappeared and killed" had she decided to stay in the communist country.
She arrived in Los Angeles on April 28, pleading with the border authorities to allow her into the country by telling them her story. Back in China, her home and office were searched by the authorities and her loved ones were threatened. They were even forced to state that Yan was a liar and traitor.
Yan told the Daily Mail how she feared that COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 may have been deliberately created in a military lab through experiments on bats.
Hong Kong University said in a press release that "HKU notes that the content of the said news report does not accord with the key facts as we understand them." The release went on to say that Yan had never conducted any research on human-to-human transmission of the contagion at HKU during December 2019 and January 2020.
“We further observe that what she might have emphasized in the reported interview has no scientific basis but resembles hearsay.”