by WorldTribune Staff, July 10, 2020
A Chinese virologist and coronavirus whistleblower who fled Hong Kong in April, said China knew about the virus well before it admitted it did.
Dr. Li-Meng Yan, in an interview with Fox News, also said her supervisors ignored research she was doing at the onset of the pandemic that she believes could have saved lives.
“The reason I came to the U.S. is because I deliver the message of the truth of COVID,” she told Fox News from an undisclosed location.
Yan, who specialized in virology and immunology at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, added that if she tried to tell her story in China, she “will be disappeared and killed.”
The Fox News report noted: “Yan’s story weaves an extraordinary claim about cover-ups at the highest levels of government and seemingly exposes the obsessive compulsion of Xi Jinping and his Communist Party to control the coronavirus narrative: what China knew, when it knew it and what edited information it peddled to the rest of the world.”
Yan said she was one of the first scientists in the world to study the coronavirus after being asked by her supervisor at the University/WHO reference lab, Dr. Leo Poon, in 2019 to look into the odd cluster of SARS-like cases coming out of mainland China at the end of December 2019.
“The China government refused to let overseas experts, including ones in Hong Kong, do research in China,” she said. “So I turned to my friends to get more information.”
One friend, a scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China, had first-hand knowledge of the cases and purportedly told Yan on Dec. 31 about human-to-human transmission. The Chinese government did not admit human-to-human transmission of the virus was likely until Jan. 20.
She reported some of these early findings to her boss, Yan said, and a few days later, on Jan. 9, the WHO put out a statement: “According to Chinese authorities, the virus in question can cause severe illness in some patients and does not transmit readily between people… There is limited information to determine the overall risk of this reported cluster.”
Doctors and researchers who had been openly discussing the coronavirus suddenly went silent, Yan said.
The doctors said, “We can’t talk about it, but we need to wear masks,’ ” Yan said.
Yan said she reported her findings to her supervisor again on Jan. 16 but that’s when he allegedly told her “to keep silent, and be careful.”
“As he warned me before, ‘Don’t touch the red line,’ ” Yan said referring to the communist government. “We will get in trouble and we’ll be disappeared.”
Yan said she had to speak up despite the personal and professional consequences.
“I know how they treat whistleblowers,” she said.
Yan discovered her life was apparently in jeopardy. It was a fear directly relayed to her and seemingly confirmed by U.S.-based Hong Kong blogger Lu Deh, she told Fox News. After sharing some of her theories and suspicions with the blogger, he told her she would need to relocate, perhaps to the United States, where she wouldn’t have to constantly look over her shoulder. Only then would she be safe and have a platform to speak.
After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on April 28, Yan said she didn’t know if she would end up in jail or be sent back to China.
“I had to tell them the truth,” she said. “I’m doing the right thing. So I tell them that ‘don’t let me go back to China. I’m the one who came to tell the truth here of COVID-19… And please protect me. If not, the China government will kill me.”
Yan said the FBI interviewed her for hours, took her cell phone as evidence and allowed her to continue to her destination.
The FBI told Fox News it could neither confirm nor deny Yan’s claims; however, Fox News was shown an evidence receipt that appeared to confirm an interaction.
After her arrival in the U.S., Yan said Chinese government authorities swarmed her hometown of Qingdao and that agents ripped apart her apartment and questioned her parents. When she contacted her mother and father, they pleaded with her to come home, told her she didn’t know what she was talking about and begged her to give up the fight.
The University of Hong Kong took down her page and apparently revoked access to her online portals and emails, despite the fact that she says she was on an approved annual leave. In a statement to Fox News, a school spokesperson said Yan is not currently an employee.
“Dr Li-Meng Yan is no longer a staff member of the University,” the statement read. “Out of respect for our current and former employees, we don’t disclose personal information about her. Your understanding is appreciated.”
The Chinese Embassy in the United States told Fox News they don’t know who Yan is and maintain China has handled the pandemic heroically.
We have never heard of this person,” the emailed statement read. “The Chinese government has responded swiftly and effectively to COVID-19 since its outbreak. All its efforts have been clearly documented in the white paper “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action” with full transparency. Facts tell all.”
Despite knowing she will always be a Chinese Communist Party target, Yan told Fox News she will continue to speak out.