Skip to main content
Tags: wuhan institute | china | covid | virus | infection

Report: Chinese Scientists First Infected by COVID

By    |   Thursday, 15 June 2023 05:18 PM EDT

U.S. government officials revealed this week that there is significant evidence that indicates the SARS-CoV-2 virus — better known as coronavirus or COVID-19 — had infected several Chinese scientists and accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

A report from the Substack newsletter Public reported Tuesday that multiple U.S. government officials, interviewed as part of an investigation by Public and Racket, identified "patients zero" — who were first infected first by the virus — as Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu. All were researchers of SARS-like viruses as well as members of the Wuhan lab suspected to have leaked the virus that caused a global pandemic and has killed millions over the past three years.

Hu headed up the WIV's gain of function experiments — which increase the infectiousness of SARS-like coronaviruses and bolster pathogens to better understand their dangers — when he and his fellow other researchers fell ill around November 2019, according to U.S. officials.

This new information contradicts numerous past statements made by public officials and Anthony Fauci, who oversaw pandemics for two administrations while director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Earlier this year, Fauci told The Boston Globe that "we may not ever know" the exact origins of the pandemic. In April, he told The New York Times Magazine, "[Y]ou could have taken a virus and serially passaged it in 1920. I could do that tomorrow in your kitchen. You don't need to do engineering."

According to Public, a source confirmed being "100%" certain that Hu, Ping, and Zhu were the three WIV scientists to contract symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the fall of 2019.

"Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli," Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard and co-author with Matt Ridley of "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," told Public. Chan added that Shi, a virologist who was known as "the bat woman of China," had led the gain of function research at the WIV and that Hu had been "her star pupil."

"[Hu] had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanized mice," she said. "If I had to guess who would be doing this risky virus research and most at risk of getting accidentally infected, it would be him."

In 2019, Hu and Yu also co-authored a paper that detailed the lineage of SARS-related coronavirus in bats across China that they had studied.

"It's a game changer if it can be proven that Hu got sick with COVID-19 before anyone else. That would be the 'smoking gun,'" said the Atlantic Council's Jamie Metzl, a former member of the World Health Organization expert advisory committee on human genome editing who in early 2020, raised questions about a possible research-related pandemic origin. "Hu was the lead hands-on researcher in Shi's lab."

The Directorate of National Intelligence is expected next week to release previously classified material that could include the names of the three scientists who were reportedly first sickened by SARS-CoV-2. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed a bill that called for releasing the names and roles of the sick WIV researchers, including any information pertaining to their symptoms and respective on set dates, as well as whether they were involved with or exposed to research related to COVID-19.

Two years before the start of the pandemic, Chinese state-run television aired a video that shows Hu watching a lab worker handle specimens, with neither wearing any protective gear. The video, which aired Dec. 29, 2017, also shows WIV scientists looking for bat viruses with little to no protective gear.

According to Chan, "If they were worried about being infected in the field, they would need full body suits with no gaps" to be safe. "That's the only way."

Chan added that the WIV had conducted their research at too low a biohazard safety level. “We now know that the pandemic virus is even capable of escaping from a BSL-3 lab and infecting fully vaccinated young lab workers.”

The U.S. State Department had stated its suspicions in a now-archived fact sheet from 2021 that the WIV had deceived the public and that the virus had likely originated from a lab leak. However, it wasn't until last February when FBI Director Christopher Wray told Fox News, "The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan, China."

Chan, who had published a research paper in 2020 and put out her suspicions that a lab accident was possible in a research paper, told Public that she was "criticized as a conspiracy theorist."

"I feel vindicated, but I'm frustrated," she said. “If you knew that this was likely a lab-enhanced pathogen, there are so many things you could have done differently. This whole pandemic could have been reshaped."

Metzl echoed Chan's opinion. "Had U.S. government officials, including Dr. Fauci, stated from day one that a COVID-19 research-related origin was a very real possibility and made clear that we had little idea what viruses were being held at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, what work was being done there, and who was doing that work, our national and global conversations would have been dramatically different," he said.

"The time has come for a full accounting."

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

U.S. government officials revealed this week that there is significant evidence that indicates the SARS-CoV-2 virus — better known as coronavirus or COVID-19 — had infected several Chinese scientists and accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
wuhan institute, china, covid, virus, infection
Thursday, 15 June 2023 05:18 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved