A Chinese whistleblower scientist who fled to the US has claimed that Covid-19 originated in a military lab.
The claim, which Chinese authorities have consistently denied, was made by virolgoist Dr Li Meng-Yan during a livestream interview.
She claims that the virus, which has killed an estimated 689,000 people worldwide, came from a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) facility.
Dr Li, a researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, had previously accused Beijing of covering up the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
During her research, she claims, she traced the outbreak to the PLA, Taiwan News reports.
Dr Li said: “At that time, I had clearly assessed that the virus came from a Chinese Communist Party military lab.
“The Wuhan wet market was just used as a decoy.”
The virologist, from Shandong in eastern China, claimed it was no longer safe to remain if she reported her findings.
“I knew that once I spoke up, I could disappear at any time, just like all the brave protesters in Hong Kong,” she said.
“I could disappear at any time. Even my name would no longer exist.”
Investigators have not found any evidence to corroborate the scientist’s claim that the virus was man-made.
In a statement, the Hong Kong School of Public Health said her assertations do not “accord with the key facts as we understand them”.
She said she was asked to look into the new “SARS-like” virus that had originated in Wuhan back in December.
In a statement to Fox News, the Chinese Embassy in the US said: “We have never heard of this person.
“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.”