A renowned Chinese virologist has claimed that the Chinese government covered up the coronavirus outbreak and says she has been forced to flee Honk Kong because she 'knows how they treat whistleblowers'.
Dr Li-Meng Yan, who specialised in virology and immunology at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, has claimed that Beijing knew about the novel coronavirus well before it claims.
Speaking during an interview with Fox News, she also said that her supervisors - many renowned as some of the top experts in their field - ignored research she began undertaking from the onset of the outbreak, which ultimately led to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
She believes her research into the coronavirus could have saved lives, and has risked her own by fleeing to the U.S. to share her story, knowing it is likely that she can never return to Hong Kong, reports the Daily Mail.
As a World Health Organization reference laboratory specialising in influenza viruses and pandemics, she also believes that she and her colleagues had an obligation to tell the world about her research - but no action was taken.
Yan says she was one of the first scientists to study the coronavirus that would become known as Covid-19, and claims at the end of December 2019 she was asked by her supervisor at the University - Dr. Leo Poon - to look into an odd cluster of SARS-like cases in mainland China.
'The China government refused to let overseas experts, including ones in Hong Kong, do research in China,' she said to Fox News. 'So I turned to my friends to get more information.'
One friend she contacted was a scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China who she said had first-hand knowledge of the cases coming out of Wuhan.