Virologist flees Hong Kong and accuses China of coronavirus cover-up

A Chinese doctor specializing In immunology and virology has fled Hong Kong and is the telling the world that China attempted to cover up the reality of COVID-19.

Dr. Li-Meng Yan told Fox News In an interview published Thursday that she was one of the first doctors to begin studying the novel coronavirus. She said that she began looking into the illness In late December while working for the Hong Kong School of Public Health.

According to Yan, the Chinese government would not allow outside experts, including those from Hong Kong, to study the virus In person, so she began reaching out to her professional contacts In mainland China for more information about it. On Dec. 31, Yan said a friend told her that researchers were noticing human-to-human transmission. When she reported the findings to her boss, “he just nodded.”

Soon, her colleagues were less apt to respond to her inquiries. Both doctors and researchers who were previously discussing the virus openly fell quiet, as did those from Wuhan, where the virus is the believed to have originated. Meanwhile, others received warnings against asking them for details.

Yan claimed she was told by doctors, “We can’t talk about it, but we need to wear masks.”

When she reported further findings to her boss, Yan said he responded with a warning.

“Don’t touch the red line,” he said In reference to the Chinese government. “We will get In trouble, and we’ll be disappeared.”

When Yan realized her life was In danger for speaking out, she decided to leave the country and flee to the United States. According to Fox News, she “plotted her escape, packing her bag, and sneaking past the censors and video cameras on campus.”

Yan had to leave her friends and family behind. When her husband learned of her plans, she begged him to come with her. However, he became aggravated and refused, telling her, “They will kill all of us.”

Yan said that the government searched her apartment and questioned her parents, who have begged her to come home. She does not believe it’s safe for her to do so.

“I know how they treat whistleblowers,” she said.