Covid Patient Zero Was Likely Scientist at Wuhan Institute of Virology

LI 155 Ben Hu Wuhan

by Leslie Eastman at

“Patients zero” included Ben Hu, who is seen in video handling specimens with no protective gear.

An investigation by journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag, and Matt Taibbi has led them to conclude that scientists conducting research on novel coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) were the first humans to contract covid.

“Patients zero” included Ben Hu, Ping Yu and Yan Zhu — scientists researching SARS-like viruses at the institute, according to an investigation by journalists Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi published on the Substack newsletter Public.

The three scientists were researching “gain-of-function” experiments with the virus — which increases its infectiousness and makes pathogens stronger in order to better understand their dangers — when they became sick in the fall of 2019, multiple US government officials reportedly told the journalists.

The new details were revealed about four months after FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau believes that the horrific COVID-19 virus responsible for millions of deaths likely originated from an accidental outbreak at a Chinese lab.

The emerging details that continue to confirm the lab leak scenario may be the reason that the former head of China’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Prof George Gao, recently indicated a lab leak origin for the pandemic could not be ruled out. I concluded a post about his statement by noting:

Yet, this is an intriguing trial balloon that suggests more information may be revealed that the Chinese may want to get ahead of. Stay tuned!

The report in the Substack newsletter is detailed and aligns with the findings recently laid out by the Sunday Times of London, which I recently reviewed. Former White House Coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has always asserted we “may never know” the true origin of the pandemic.

However, Shellenberger, Gutentag, and Matt Taibbi show the answer may be within reach.

…[N]ot only do we know there were WIV scientists who had developed COVID-19-like illnesses in November 2019, but also that they were working with the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, and inserting gain-of-function features unique to it.

When a source was asked how certain they were that these were the identities of the three WIV scientists who developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the fall of 2019, we were told, “100%”

“Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli,” said Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and coauthor with Matt Ridley of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid19. Shi is known as “the bat woman of China,” and led the gain-of-function research at the WIV. “He was her star pupil. He had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanized 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.”

Shellenberger also offered a Twitter thread with supplemental information supporting this article.


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