A bombshell report has claimed the infamous Covid-19 “patient zero” was a Wuhan scientist carrying out experiments on souped-up coronaviruses.
The scientist in question, Ben Hu, was conducting risky tests at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with two colleagues, Ping You and Yan Zhu, the report states.
It is understood that all three suffered Covid-like symptoms and required hospital care weeks before China broke the news of the virus outbreak to the rest of the world.
The Sun reported that the name of “patient zero” has never been disclosed until now.
Many US government officials have now identified the three scientists in a shocking report by journalists Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi.
Writing in the Substack newsletter Public, the pair alleged the scientists were experimenting with coronaviruses when they fell ill in 2019.
Several experts and intelligence officials have long suspected scientists at the lab accidentally spread the virus during so-called “gain of function” experiments on bat coronaviruses.
The naming of “patient zero” could prove to be the smoking gun, only adding to mounting circumstantial evidence of a lab leak.
It is unclear who in the US government had the intelligence about the sick lab workers, how long they had it, and why it was not shared with the public.
The Australian journalist and Sky News host Sharri Markson spoke to The Sun about the lab leak theory in 2021 and dubbed it an “explosive development”.
Jamie Metzl, a former member of the World Health Organisation advisory committee on human genome editing, described it as a possible “game changer”.
“It’s a game changer if it can be proven that Hu got sick with Covid before anyone else,” he said.
“That would be the ‘smoking gun’. Hu was the lead hands-on researcher in (virologist Shi Zhengli’s) lab.”
DRASTIC, an international team of scientists and sleuths attempting to piece together Covid-19’s origins, researched the three scientists in 2021.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology’s website lists Hu’s biography showing he was working as an assistant researcher.
He was said to be the “star pupil” of virologist Shi Zhengli — the virologist at the lab who became known as “batwoman” for her research on bat coronaviruses.
Markson, the author of What Really Happened in Wuhan, said that Hu was running a state-funded project in 2019 to test if new coronaviruses could infect humans.
The study involved souping up the viruses and experimenting with them on humanised mice.
However, the results were never published and the study’s existence was erased from the internet as Covid-19 was spreading around the globe, which raised suspicion of a possible lab leak.
A source told The Sun that footage from 2017 that was aired by Chinese state-run TV showed Hu working in the lab without protective gear.
The same video shows scientists from the Wuhan lab searching for bat viruses with inadequate protective gear.
Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at MIT and Harvard, told Public, “Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli.
“He was her star pupil. He had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanised mice.
“If I had to guess who would be doing this risky virus research and most at risk of getting accidentally infected, it would be him.”
She noted, “If this info had been made public in May of 2020, I doubt that many in the scientific community and the media would have spent the last three years raving about a raccoon dog or pangolin in a wet market.”
US scientist Dr Steven Quay, “He was always my first choice for one of the infected Wuhan Institute of Virology workers but it seemed too simple.”
A bill signed by US President Joe Biden in 2023 called for the release of the names of the sick scientists, their symptoms, and whether they had been involved with or exposed to coronavirus research.
The US is currently preparing to release previously classified material, which could include the names of the three Wuhan scientists.
Earlier in 2023, FBI director Christopher Wray said, “the FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan”.
China has long been accused of attempting to cover up or distort its involvement with Covid-19, but they continue to deny claims.
In March 2023, China’s former government scientist confessed the Wuhan lab leak theory shouldn’t be ruled out, sparking uproar in Beijing.
Professor George Gao, the former chief of China’s Centre for Disease Control, played a key role in the efforts to trace the origins of Covid-19, insisting scientists should “suspect anything”.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 podcast Fever: The Hunt for Covid’s Origin, Professor Gao said, “You can always suspect anything. That’s science.
“Don’t rule out anything.”
Professor Gao retired from the CDC in 2022 after playing a key role in the pandemic response and efforts to find the mysterious origin of the virus.
He would have had access to highly classified government information on the outbreak of Covid-19.
According to Professor Gao, a formal investigation into the Wuhan Institute of Virology was carried out by a government department.
The government scientist claimed the “lab was double-checked by the experts in the field”.
Investigators believe scientists were working with the Chinese military to develop a mutant virus and pursue bioweapons just as the pandemic began.
The findings followed a team of US investigators who combed through top-secret intercepted communications and research.
In 2016, researchers discovered a new fatal type of coronavirus in a mineshaft in Mojiang, Yunnan province.
However, they kept it under wraps, with the sample then transported to the Wuhan lab and dubbed as classified work.
The virus is the only known immediate relative of Covid-19 known to exist prior to the pandemic.
Speaking to The Times, one US investigator said, “The trail of papers starts to go dark.
“That’s exactly when the classified program kicked off.
“My view is that the reason it was covered up was due to military secrecy related to the army’s pursuit of dual-use capabilities in virological biological weapons and vaccines.”
The findings came after a scientist who worked closely with the Wuhan lab claimed the virus was genetically engineered and leaked from the facility.
Image credit: Getty
This article first appeared on Over60.