Ian Lipkin, top US scientist, reveals he first heard about virus outbreak in Wuhan TWO WEEKS before Beijing warned the world about Covid, thus belatedly challnging China’s efforts to mask the truth about the pandemic’s emergence. 

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Prof Lipkin, who caught Covid-19 soon after his return to the United States, was a key figure in the fierce debate over origins of the virus and attempts to stifle the lab-leak hypothesis by the scientific establishment.

The eminent expert condemned blaming of China, praised its efforts to control the outbreak and co-authored a hugely influential commentary in Nature Medicine journal that ruled out plausibility of ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario’.

Yet Prof Lipkin admitted his view changed after learning that high-risk experiments on bat coronaviruses were carried out by Wuhan scientists in low-biosafety labs.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9958207/Scientist-reveals-heard-Covid-Wuhan-TWO-WEEKS-Beijing-warned-world.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailus

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Top US scientist reveals he first heard about virus outbreak in Wuhan TWO WEEKS before Beijing warned the world about Covid

  • Scientist Ian Lipkin undermined the official Beijing narrative on origins of Covid
  • He said he heard about Covid before it was disclosed to the global health bodies
  • Prof Lipkin told a documentary he learned of ‘the new outbreak’ on December 15
  • The WHO was not tipped off for another 16 days after Taiwan raised the alarm

By IAN BIRRELL FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

PUBLISHED: 22:02 BST, 4 September 2021 | UPDATED: 22:46 BST, 4 September 2021

One of the world’s top epidemiologists admits he first heard about the pandemic outbreak in Wuhan more than two weeks before it was disclosed to global health bodies.

The revelation by Ian Lipkin, a professor at Columbia University honoured by China for work on the first Sars epidemic earlier this century, undermines the official Beijing narrative on the origins.

Prof Lipkin told a documentary by the director Spike Lee that he learned of ‘the new outbreak’ on December 15, even repeating the date for clarification.

Yet China claims there were only five known patients before that time in Wuhan – a city of 11 million people – with the earliest confirmed case of a patient with the novel coronavirus supposedly cropping up just one week earlier.

The World Health Organisation was not tipped off for another 16 days after Taiwan raised the alarm. 

This delay – along with China’s cover-up of human transmission –allowed the virus to spread rapidly, with disastrous consequences.
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Prof Lipkin’s intervention erodes China’s efforts to mask the truth about the pandemic’s emergence. 

Beijing has hidden data, silenced doctors, jailed journalists, blamed other nations and resisted unfettered inquiries by global health bodies.

The US scientist, who has worked in China for almost two decades, also told a Columbia University medical centre video recording that he first heard about the outbreak ‘in the middle of December 2019’.

Prof Lipkin said he had been ‘tracking’ the disease with ‘my friends there’ at the Centre for Disease Control ‘and in the national government’, before visiting the country to investigate the following month.

He also told a podcast he was tipped off by his Chinese research partner Lu Jiahai, a public health professor at a Guangzhou university who has said the epidemic could have been prevented if warning systems had functioned properly.

Prof Lipkin’s claim flies in the face of Beijing’s narrative that a heroic doctor in Wuhan was first to report the new virus on December 27 after seeing a case in her hospital the previous day.

In reality, the virus was so rampant by that date that journalists reported that a private lab in Guangzhou had ‘assembled a nearly complete viral genome sequence’ and, seeing the pathogen’s similarity to Sars, passed the data to the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The Caixin report was later wiped from the internet.

During his trip, Prof Lipkin – a famed virus-hunter who acted as consultant on the film Contagion, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon – met Chinese premier Li Keqiang and prominent scientists to discuss the disease.

He predicted the new virus would cause fewer deaths than Sars, which killed 774 people after emerging in 2002 – although warned of the potential for a pandemic. 

Prof Lipkin, who caught Covid-19 soon after his return to the United States, was a key figure in the fierce debate over origins of the virus and attempts to stifle the lab-leak hypothesis by the scientific establishment.

The eminent expert condemned blaming of China, praised its efforts to control the outbreak and co-authored a hugely influential commentary in Nature Medicine journal that ruled out plausibility of ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario’.

He is head of a unit at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health, which won grants worth $1.34 million (£970,000) between 2018 and 2020 from EcoHealth Alliance, a charity that also funded controversial research into bat viruses at Wuhan Institute of Virology.

British scientist Peter Daszak, the charity’s $460,368- a-year (£332,118) president, played a central role in labelling concerns over the possibility of a laboratory incident sparking the pandemic as ‘conspiracy theory’. 

Yet Prof Lipkin admitted his view changed after learning that high-risk experiments on bat coronaviruses were carried out by Wuhan scientists in low-biosafety labs.

‘If they’ve got hundreds of bat samples that are coming in, and some of them aren’t characterised, how would they know whether this virus was or wasn’t in this lab? They wouldn’t,’ he said in June.

Prof Lipkin told this paper he had no ‘new substantive comments’ to make. ‘Outbreaks of infectious disease occur continuously worldwide,’ he said. ‘The majority never come to the attention of larger organisations because they don’t evolve into pandemics.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9958207/Scientist-reveals-heard-Covid-Wuhan-TWO-WEEKS-Beijing-warned-world.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailus

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