Photo emerges 'showing patient zero at Wuhan lab' three years after bosses claimed she left and never to returned
A PHOTO has emerged which is said to show the pandemic's "patient zero" posing at a Chinese lab three years AFTER bosses claimed she had left the science hub.
Huang Yanling, believed to be the world’s first coronavirus patient, disappeared 12 months ago amid claims of a cover-up orchestrated by officials in Beijing.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
At the time, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) denied online reports the first person to contract the killer virus was based at the top secret site and insisted Huang had left five years earlier never to return.
A statement – which attempted to distance the state-run science complex from the spiralling outbreak -read: "Huang graduated from the institute in 2015 with a master's degree.
"She has since then been working in other provinces and has never been back to Wuhan. She's not infected by the novel coronavirus and is in good health.
“At a crucial time fighting against the epidemic, this rumor has greatly disrupted the institute’s research work.”
Now a photo has been published on Twitter which appears to pour cold water on those claims.
It purports to show Huang pictured standing at the back of large group of fellow researchers from the Lab of Diagnostic Microbiology.
The photo carries the distinctive logo of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the top left corner and is dated 2018 – although it is not known if that date was added later.
However, those who have been closely following Huang's disappearance on the Twitter site 'WhereisYanling' have branded the image a "red flag".
It is believed to have been published on the institute's official website before it was purged of key files related to the outbreak.
One Canadian-based biotech entrepreneur tweeted: "The 2018 date on that WIV picture is a huge red flag btw.
"Has WIV been asked to explain why Huang Yanling is present in a 2018 photo if she is said to have left WIV in 2015?"
Since Huang's disappearance, online rumours have circulated in China claiming she died of the virus and was hastily cremated.
Other unconfirmed reports say she was "vanished" by paranoid officials along with whistleblowers who first exposed the horrors of coronavirus.
While others say she is working at another state-run science lab.
The US believes she was the first of several working at the controversial institute who fell ill in the autumn of 2019 – months before the virus was officially acknowledged.
A post said to be from the missing scientist later appeared on the WeChat messaging service informing colleagues she was alive and well.
It read: "To my teachers and fellow students, how long no speak. I am Huang Yanling, still alive.
"If you receive any email [regarding the Covid rumour], please say it’s not true."
Since then Huang appears to have vanished from social media and any mention of her appears to have disappeared from the institute’s website.
The US State Department says the Chinese Communist Party had prevented investigators from interviewing researchers in Wuhan "including those who were ill in the fall of 2019".
"Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus and the next one," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added on Saturday.
Pompeo revealed new studies from US intelligence claim that scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in the autumn of 2019 – earlier than previously believed – with symptoms consistent with Covid.
"This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli's public claim that there was 'zero infection' among WIV's staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses," Pompeo said.
However, China has dismissed claims Covid may have originated the Wuhan lab slamming it as baseless “conspiracy theories” and dubbing outgoing Secretary of State Pompeo “Mr Lies.”
Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying insisted today that a US State Department “fact sheet” published Friday was “full of fallacies,” according to Bloomberg.
“The so-called fact sheet is another lie sheet produced by the US side,” Hua added.
“This fully demonstrates that some US politicians are keen on violating science, hyping up conspiracy theories, spreading political viruses for their personal gains, while paying no attention to public security and people’s lives.
“This is also the last madness of Pompeo- Mr. Lies.”
Source: Read Full Article