Fox News has an exclusive interview with Dr. Li-Meng Yan, a virologist from Hong Kong who says she was one of the first doctors in the world to begin investigating the coronavirus outbreak. Her investigation began on December 31, the day word of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan first appeared in Chinese media.
Dr. Yan’s boss told her to look into it so she began asking questions from a network of doctor friends in China. Right away she learned from a member of the Chinese CDC that there was evidence of person-to-person transmission of the virus. This is something that China would officially deny was the case for several more weeks. Dr. Yan continued to investigate but by mid-January she said the tone had changed. Her friends in China were saying they couldn’t talk about it anymore. When Dr. Yan made a 2nd report to her bosses in Hong Kong, they told her to be very careful.
She said she reported her findings to her supervisor again on Jan. 16 but that’s when he allegedly told her “to keep silent, and be careful.”
“As he warned me before, ‘Don’t touch the red line,’” Yan said referring to the government. “We will get in trouble and we’ll be disappeared.”
Dr. Yan decided to share her concerns with a Chinese blogger based in the U.S. That was published on January 19th but it was only in Chinese. Dr. Yan notes that within 4 hours there was a response from the Chinese government which suddenly announced there were 198 cases rather than 62. She says that was also when China admitted there was evidence of person-to-person transmission. Three days later, Wuhan was locked down.
The blogger Dr. Yan had spoken to warned her that she might need to relocate to avoid trouble with Chinese authorities. She decided to fly to America but when her husband, who was also a doctor, found out, he was angry.
Yan told Fox News she begged her husband to go with her, and says while her spouse, a reputable scientist himself, had initially been supportive of her research, he suddenly had a change of heart.
“He was totally pissed off,” she said. “He blamed me, tried to ruin my confidence… He said they will kill all of us.’”
Shocked and hurt, Yan made the decision to leave without him.
Dr. Yan left the country on April 28. Her husband refused to go with her. When she got to customs in America, she told them she was there to tell the truth about China’s coronavirus response and spent time talking with the FBI. But she says that even before her plane had landed, police were sent to her hometown to harass her family.
Then in mid-May, before she had spoken to any English language media outlets, people she believes were working for the Chinese government began attacking her on social media and set up a fake Facebook profile for her. Yan says the account was used to “tell people that I’m kidnapped in the U.S., [that] I tried to lie to people, even that I have a mental disorder.” She expects things will only get worse now that she has spoken out (in English).
The interview ends with a warning from Dr. Yan that this virus is eventually going to make its way to everyone and that herd immunity is a long way off. Here’s the full interview.