The scientist learned about the virus two weeks before the official announcement of the Chinese authorities.
A leading American scientist said that he first heard about the outbreak of the virus in Wuhan two weeks before Beijing warned the world about COVID. Scientist Ian Lipkin denied the official Chinese version of the origin of the coronavirus, claiming that he had heard about it before the information was disclosed to global health authorities. Professor Lipkin said in the documentary that he learned about the “new outbreak” on December 15, 2019.
One of the world’s leading epidemiologists admits that he first heard about the outbreak of the pandemic in Wuhan more than two weeks before it was reported to global health authorities, writes The Mail On Sunday.
The revelation of Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University professor who received an award from China for his work on the first SARS epidemic at the beginning of the XXI century, undermines the official Beijing version of the origin of COVID-19.
Professor Lipkin said in a documentary directed by Spike Lee that he learned about the “new outbreak” on December 15, even repeating the date for clarification.
However, China claims that up to this time, only five patients were known in Wuhan — a city of 11 million people — with the earliest confirmed case of a patient with a new coronavirus, presumably, having arisen just a week earlier.
The World Health Organization did not receive news for another 16 days after Taiwan sounded the alarm due to a new disease.
This delay-along with China’s concealment of human transmission of the virus — allowed it to spread quickly with disastrous consequences, writes the Mail on Sunday.
“The history of the spread of the virus in Wuhan still raises many questions that desperately need answers to avoid a repeat of the pandemic that has affected us all so much,” said Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “China needs to stop building barriers so that the world can understand what happened and learn all the necessary lessons to prevent future pandemics.”
Professor Lipkin’s statement undermines attempts to hide the truth about the outbreak of the pandemic.
As the Mail On Sunday notes, Beijing hides data, silences doctors, jails journalists, blames other countries, and resists unlimited requests from global health authorities.
The American scientist, who has worked in China for almost two decades, also said on the video of the Columbia University Medical Center that he first heard about the outbreak of the disease “in mid-December 2019”.
Professor Lipkin said he was “tracking” the disease with “friends from the Centers for Disease Control.”
He also told the podcast that he was warned by his Chinese research partner Lu Jiahai, a professor of public health at Guangzhou University, who said that the epidemic could have been prevented if the warning systems worked properly.
Professor Lipkin’s statement contradicts Beijing’s claims that the heroic doctor from Wuhan was the first to report the new virus on December 27, after seeing a case of the disease in his hospital the day before.
In fact, by that time, the virus was so widespread that journalists reported that a private laboratory in Guangzhou “collected almost the complete sequence of the viral genome” and, seeing the similarity of the pathogen to SARS, transmitted the data to the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.
During his trip, Professor Lipkin, a famous virus hunter who acted as a consultant in the film “Contagion” starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon, met with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and famous scientists to discuss the disease.
He predicted that the new virus would cause fewer deaths than the SARS virus, which killed 774 people after its appearance in 2002, although he warned of the possibility of a pandemic.
Professor Lipkin, who contracted COVID-19 shortly after his return to the United States, has been a key figure in the fierce debate about the origin of the virus and the attempts of the scientific establishment to counter the hypothesis of a laboratory leak the coronavirus. The expert condemned the accusations against China, praised its efforts to combat the outbreak, and co-authored a very influential comment in the journal Nature Medicine, which ruled out the plausibility of “any type of laboratory scenario.”
He is the head of the Columbia University School of Public Health department, which won $ 1.34 million in grants between 2018 and 2020 from the EcoHealth Alliance, which also funded controversial research on bat viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
British scientist Peter Daszak, the president of this non-profit organization with an income of $ 460,368 a year, played a central role in labeling as a “conspiracy theory” concerns about the possibility of a laboratory incident that triggered a pandemic.
Nevertheless, Professor Lipkin admitted that his opinion changed after he learned that high-risk experiments with bat coronaviruses were conducted by scientists from Wuhan in laboratories with a low biosafety level. “If they have hundreds of bat samples coming in and some of them are not characterized, how will they know if this virus was in this lab,” he said in June.
Professor Lipkin claimed in this article that he has no “new significant comments.” “Outbreaks of infectious diseases occur constantly all over the world,” he said. “Most of them never come to the attention of large organizations because they do not develop into pandemics.”
The WHO research team, which included Daszak and submitted a widely criticized report six months ago, was told that the “earliest case of the disease” was on December 8, 2019. Still, previous patients were also discussed even in the landmark study of Chinese scientists in The Lancet.
The Mail on Sunday reported that the scientist responsible for collecting official data told a Chinese medical journal about the alleged lethality of a patient who fell ill at the end of September of the same year, and two more cases followed on November 14 and 21.
Other early cases include Connor Reed, a 25-year-old Briton who taught in Wuhan, who told Mail Online that he fell ill on November 25 and that his debilitating illness was confirmed by the hospital as a new coronavirus two months later.
The warnings came from the medical branch of the defense agency, which most considered a possible leak in the laboratory during the intelligence review for President Biden last month.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law in Washington, also said he learned about the disease in mid — December, telling the Los Angeles Times that he had heard “from a friend in Wuhan that there is a new coronavirus-and it looks severe.”
Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier, who conducted experiments to increase the functionality of avian flu to make it more contagious, said in a documentary that he discussed the outbreak in the first week of December with his colleague Marion Koopmans, a member of the WHO research team. He also told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad about the “excitement” that arose at that time among experts on infectious diseases. “There were rumors that people got sick and that it was connected with the animal market,” he said. – In December, it became clear that this is a coronavirus that can be transmitted by air.”