Scientists in Wuhan should be awarded Nobel Prize, rather than being blamed: FM
Published: Jun 17, 2021 07:25 PM
Shi Zhengli. Photo: Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)

Shi Zhengli. Photo: Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)

 Scientists working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) should be awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, rather than being blamed for being the first to discover the gene sequence of the novel coronavirus, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, after China's "bat woman" Shi Zhengli, a virologist at WIV, refuted the slander from the US in a recent interview with the New York Times. 

In a New York Times article published on Monday, Shi, who is at the center of "lab-leak" conspiracy, said, "How on earth can I offer evidence for something where there is no evidence?" 

"I don't know how the world has come to this, constantly pouring filth on an innocent scientist," she wrote in a text message that she sent to the US newspaper.

Commenting on Shi's response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang said Chinese scientists in Wuhan were the earliest to discover the gene sequence of novel coronavirus but it does not mean that Wuhan was the source of coronavirus, nor can it be inferred that the virus was manufactured by Chinese scientists.

"If the first publication of a high quality virus sequence is blamed for the source of the novel coronavirus, then Professor Luc Antoine Montagnier, who first who discovered HIV, should be the cause of the global AIDS pandemic, not the winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine," Zhao said.

In March, the World Health Organization released the research report of the China-WHO joint expert group, which confirmed that the virus is extremely unlikely to be leaked from the laboratory. 

"The report was jointly written by more than 30 top experts in various fields around the world, which is widely representative and highly professional," Zhao stressed. 

Sadly, some people in the US ignored the report, clamoring for the "lab-leak" theory and politicizing tracing of the origins, which offends the joint study led by the WHO and also violates the scientific spirit, said the spokesman.

If the US is truly transparent and responsible, it should show an open attitude like China and immediately invite international experts to Fort Detrick and other places to conduct detailed investigations, Zhao said. 

Global Times 

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