The real virus came from Zhoushan and Chinese military found it: Dr Li-Meng Yan

Interview/ Dr Li-Meng Yan, virologist

Virus Outbreak China Taking stock: Military personnel brief Chinese President Xi Jinping at a Covid-19 facility in Wuhan in early 2020 | AP

Q/ After our exclusive interview last year, in which you said the Covid-19 virus was man-made, scientists and governments are considering it to be a possibility. New theories have emerged as well. Do you think the samples found from the Yunnan copper mine come closest to Sars-CoV-2?

A/ They say the Bat Woman Shi Zhengli got RaTG13 from a copper mine in Yunnan and, after a bit of modifications, inserted the furin cleavage site to make it the Sars-CoV-2 virus. I have actually proved in my reports that this is not true.

Yunnan is in the west, but the real virus comes from the east, Zhoushan. It's just a way of diverting attention from the role of the Chinese military. It is the People's Liberation Army which found Zhoushan bat coronaviruses ZC45 and ZXC21 in 2017 in the east of China and it is these viruses that come closest to Sars-CoV-2.

These were live viruses. They got them live and kept them live. This was published in their paper at the end of 2017 and it mentioned that these viruses could infect rat brain. I got to know this in January 2020 when I checked the virus sequence.

If Sars-CoV-2 was natural, the E protein (Envelop protein) would definitely have had some changes in the genome as it moved from bats to humans. However, Sars-CoV-2 has the same identical E protein as ZC45/ZXC21 viruses. So, this is definitely a 'Smoking Gun.'

After the Sars1 outbreak in 2003, China realised that coronaviruses could be used to develop a novel bio-weapon. The head of China’s Centers for Disease Control, George Gao, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences organised a collaboration project from 2010 to 2017 to search for a novel animal virus. The WIV lab and Chinese military labs were part of it.

They looked at coronaviruses, dengue virus, zika virus, mice virus and bat virus to cause brain haemorrhage and fever, and hoped to find at least two to three types of new viruses every year. Interestingly, we have seen millions of people suffering from neurological illnesses after contracting Covid-19.

We virologists never make only one virus in the lab. Experiments always generate mutants. And with the number of scientists in China working on creating bio-weapons, it is difficult to believe that we have only this one type of bio-weapon. There is always a possibility that they will use a new one to attack other countries. Hence, it is important to investigate this aspect so as to prevent an imminent biological warfare.

This virus has not been made inside one lab. Several teams worked on it across China, after which it landed in WIV.

Q/ Many scientists have dismissed your theory of creation of Covid-19 as a bio-weapon.

A/ Interestingly, this is despite my giving them academic, genomic, intelligence evidence. They simply deny it, deliberately choosing to ignore the evidence, because it is in the interest of select scientists and government officials to dismiss the lab origins.

This is a novel bio-weapon, not a traditional one. In my second report I define it as an ’unrestricted bio-weapon.' In an official military textbook written by a Chinese bio-weapon expert, along with a PLA general, and published by the military medical press in 2015, they clearly mention that based on the experience from Sars1 the coronaviruses can be used to develop some novel genetic bio-weapons. Its magnitude far exceeds that of anthrax. I sent it to the US intelligence department several months ago.

They also say in the book that this novel coronavirus bio-weapon needn't have a high death rate of over 10 per cent—because, if it does, people would immediately realise it is a bio-weapon. But if it is less than 2 per cent, then this kind of weapon will bring in a secondary form of disaster, that is, break down the entire health machinery and later disturb the economy and social order. All of this has happened in the world, exactly as mentioned. So the reason it is a novel bio-weapon is that it looks like nature, but it isn't. The US has verified the authenticity of the textbook.

Q/ So it served as a guide to the scientists working at WIV?

A/ It doesn't matter whether they read it or not. The concept in itself is enough for virologists to understand. The Wuhan lab is just one of those labs which worked on producing such non-traditional and unrestricted bio-weapons. Behind them is the Chinese Academy of Military and Medical Sciences, which in turn has numerous labs and scientists working in the army but as civil scientists. In China, military-civil fusion projects are very common. This virus has not been made inside just one lab by a single team. It has had a number of teams working on it from labs across China, after which it finally landed in WIV from where it was leaked and went out of control.

Q/ You published your third report in March this year.

A/ Yes, it was my attempt at correcting all the misinformation about the origins of the novel coronavirus that has been going on around the world.

Q/ So, the Yunnan copper mine theory is wrong.

A/ The copper mine exists. People have gotten infected and suffered from severity of infection and died. But the story that it has a connection with Sars-CoV-2 is not true. It's baseless.

That theory only suggests that scientists collected the samples from there simply for some good research. There is nothing more to that. RaTG13 or bat coronavirus 4991 doesn't exist there. Only a tiny part of it does, and there is no proof that it is similar to Covid-19. They have just created a fake virus family and attributed to it the characteristics of the novel coronavirus. They, along with Shi Zhengli, did it because they were desperately looking for a new virus that the country had asked all its scientists to develop. But there was no Sars-like coronavirus from that place.

The doctor who examined all those miners, who got infected from the mine and died, presented his observations and clinical data in a thesis which I had access to. Having read that, I can tell you there is no evidence that those patients had died from the novel coronavirus. Their information was right, but the analysis and conclusions were wrong. Just because these Chinese master’s and doctoral theses suggesting these things have been translated into English, the media and the world press have taken it. It's just a diversion tactic.

Q/ They say you've been funded by some groups to toe the line.

A/ That is completely false. I am in New York because I'm safe here. Other than me, the Rule of Law Foundation supports thousands of other scientists. I’m only revealing the truth, which is against the Communist Party of China. I’m a medical doctor, PhD holder and scientist, and so I can fund and support myself very well. My research is totally independent and nobody can buy or manipulate me.

Q/ Did you expect the US to call for an investigation?

A/ Yes, that is needed. It came a bit late in the day, though. Because we still do not know which are the other functions they've hidden inside the genome of this virus that could target humans. What made it so much more lethal than the other coronaviruses, impacting several organs of the body so much so that we simply could not come up with the right diagnosis before letting millions die. The odds that this virus comes from nature are 1 in 13 billion. We know that in biology, when you do something, you're sure to have some random results show up, alongside the focus research results you expect. That's exactly what must have happened here.

First steps: Hospital staff wash the entrance of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center in January, 2020 | AP First steps: Hospital staff wash the entrance of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center in January, 2020 | AP

Q/ Could you explain this virus relation in a bit more detail, please.

A/ Usually what we do is take the father as the reference point to make the son. Here the son is the Covid-19 virus. The father and the son have similarities, like a same nose, which other people do not have. But in WIV, the Bat Woman created a fake father and then made him look like the son—that is, the Covid-19 virus which was already present. And to make it all look very authentic, they created this huge family of fakes, all of who were curiously born after the son.

And then they got themselves published in Nature magazine. Given the reputation of Shi Zhengli in the scientific community, there was no question of refuting her claims. China also made an International Scientific Group that could promote the nature origin theory.

Q/ Did you face a backlash from the Chinese after you first went public?

A/ I'm a target even now. They're trying to make my person and voice disappear. Even now, as I continue to live in the US, cyber military people and real people from my country's government try to intimidate me. I cut off my connections with my family last July.

The scientific world and mainstream media have been promoting the nature origin, and social media, including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, has suppressed and discredited (labelled as lies) my reports and interviews. CNN, The New York Times and National Geographic write papers on behalf of the Chinese government by interviewing scientists who have colluded with the government.