Chinese Scientists “Withdrew” Research Paper That Noted Proximity of Shi Bat Lab to Wuhan Market

(p. A11) For the past 15 years, Chinese scientist Shi Zhengli has warned the world—in English, Chinese and French—that bats harbor coronaviruses that pose serious risks to human health.

The flying mammals are a likely culprit in the pandemic now sweeping the globe, and Dr. Shi and her laboratories in Wuhan, where the outbreak was first identified, have attracted suspicion.

. . .

Dr. Shi’s experience—and her large set of reference material—helped her determine that the new coronavirus loose in Wuhan had most likely come from a bat. In fact, a sample her team collected in Yunnan province in 2013 was about 96% identical to the genetic sequence of the virus that causes Covid-19.

All of that has raised questions about whether the virus could have somehow escaped from one of Dr. Shi’s labs and infected Wuhan’s population.

In a February [2020] research paper, Chinese scientists pointed out that the Wuhan market, where the coronavirus began spreading late last year, was close to her labs as well as those of another local scientist who has worked on bats at the Wuhan Municipal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The authors withdrew their paper as “speculation” after it got widespread international notice.

For the full story, see:

James T. Areddy. “‘Bat Woman’ Draws Scrutiny.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, April 22, 2020): A11.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date April 21, 2020, and has the title “China Bat Expert Says Her Wuhan Lab Wasn’t Source of New Coronavirus.”)

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