A respected Chinese virologist appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News in mid-September to share the results of her just-completed report. The conclusion: The novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was likely engineered in a Chinese lab. On Carlson’s show, she claimed it was intentionally released into the world.
Then, its validity began to unravel. The publication of the paper by lead author Li-Meng Yan — an expatriate from China seeking asylum in the US — was quickly linked to former White House adviser Steve Bannon, long a strident critic of China’s government. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security — a leading authority on the pandemic – criticized the science behind the report, and pointed out that Yan and her co-authors “cite multiple papers in their reference section that have weaknesses or flaws.”
“We talked carefully and thought for a long time whether to do it.” [said microbial geneticist Nancy Connell.]
“On the one hand we don’t want to give credence to just so much garbage,” added Gigi Kwik Gronvall, an immunologist who is also a senior scholar at the institution. “On the other hand, because it’s getting taken seriously, it’s important to point out that this is not science … It’s infuriating, because everybody has better things to do.”