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Hiding Information: Wuhan Virology Lab Deleted Files

The Daily Mail reported that the Wuhan’s Institute of Virology (WIV) has removed photographs taken of scientists being slack in the enforcement of safety standards. It also edited out references to visits that US diplomats made.

The institute edited its website page showing pictures of staff members entering caves to take swabs from bats that carried the coronavirus – with the scientists wearing minimal protective equipment.

The institute has also removed references to the March 2018 visit to the institute of Rick Switzer, a science and technology expert from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. As a result of Switzer’s visit, the U.S. Embassy sent cables to the U.S. State Department, warning about the risks of the bat experiments. One read: “During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they [the diplomats] noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to operate this high-containment laboratory safely.”

Last month, The Mail on Sunday published alarming pictures from inside the institute showing a broken seal on the door of one of the refrigerators holding 1,500 different strains of virus.

Concern about bat experiments has not been confined to the Wuhan institute. An Internet video posted in December showed Tian Junhua, a researcher at the nearby Wuhan Centre for Disease Control, collecting samples from the caves and saying, “We can easily make contact with the feces of bats which contaminate everything. So it is highly risky here. I feel the fear, the fear of infection.”

At the end of the film, a caption declares, “Nearly 2,000 types of viruses have been discovered by the Chinese CDC authorities over the past 12 years. Only 2,284 were discovered over the 200 prior years.” Chinese media reports from 2017 described how Junhua “forgot to take protective measures,” while “bat urine dripped from … his head like raindrops.”

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Source: Daily Mail, May 2, 2020