- Shi Zhengli is a virologist who is known for her work on coronavirus in bats
- It called for international cooperation in the fight against epidemics
- It is "very unfortunate" if science is politicized, she said
Shi Zhengli, a virologist known for her work on coronavirus in bats, said in an interview on Chinese state television that viruses that are now being discovered are "just the tip of the iceberg" and called for international cooperation in combat against epidemics.
Known as China's "batwoman," deputy director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology said that virus research needs scientists and governments to be transparent and cooperative, and that it is "very unfortunate" when science is politicized.
"If we want to prevent people from suffering from the next outbreak of infectious diseases, we need to know in advance about these unknown viruses that are transmitted by wild animals in nature and give early warning," Shi told CGTN. "If we don't investigate them, there may be another outbreak."
Her interview with CGTN coincided with the start of the National People's Congress, an annual meeting of the top Chinese leadership in Beijing. This year's NPC is coming as the country's relations with the United States are increasingly frayed. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo both say that the coronavirus that affects the world is likely related to the Wuhan laboratory.
China has denied the allegations. Shi has said that the genetic properties of the viruses she has worked with do not match those of the coronavirus that spreads in humans. In a social media post, she wrote that she "swears by my life" that the pandemic has nothing to do with her laboratory. In another interview with CGTN over the weekend, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology Wang Yanyi said the idea that the virus had escaped the laboratory was "pure manufacture".
The outbreak has infected more than 5.4 million people worldwide and killed over 345,000 people.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)