Thursday, April 16, 2020

Letter from Wuhan Virology Institute

Over the past week or so, some western journalists have echoed the suspicions of some Chinese netizens two months ago, in arguing that Covid-19 escaped from the Wuhan Virology Institute.  I have also discussed this possibility.  So I thought it would be appropriate to translate the letter posted in February by the leadership team of that institute, defending themselves.  

Fellow staff and graduate students: 

Ever since the explosion of the New Coronavirus Pneumonia (Covid-19), party cadres at the institute, workers and researchers determined to carefully put into practice the Party Central Committee's decision, and the academy's party (), strict control measures, to proactively bear the weighty burden of attacking this epidemic scientifically.  Recently, the Internet has spread wild rumors about our institution, for instance: "Covid-19 is man-made," "The Virus was leaked from a P4 facility," "The military has taken control of P4," "Some researcher died because the virus was leaked," "One researcher was 'Patient Zero,'" . . . and so on.  This has drawn attention from all quarters, creating enormous harm to scientific researchers engaged in front-line study at our institute, and also interrupting the critical scientific battle our institute is engaged in.  

Since the epidemic occurred, our institute has spent its energy racing to carry out scientific research.  Our institution's co-workers and students  responded to the call for research by voluntarily setting aside the New Year holiday and overcoming all kinds of difficulties, to strictly enact the various rules for administration of epidemiological and experimental lab safety.  We fought each minute and second, night and day battling in the front lines against this epidemic, practicing what a tech writer called the duty of "creating new technology and science, to benefit the nation and the people."  The cluster of top-notch bio-safety platforms at our institute are dedicated to public safety both domestically and internationally.  We are cooperating in an important way with relevant domestic and international organizations to add strength to research efforts on Covid-19.  

From the evening of December 30th, 2019, when our institute received unknown pneumonia samples from Dr. Jin Yintan, night after night (we organized our strength), conducting research for 72 straight hours, and on January 2nd, 2020, we determined the entire genome of Covid-19.  On January 5th, we separated out the virus strain.  On January 9th, standard samples were preserved in the national virus resource bank.  On January 11th this was among the virus sequences which the National Safety and Health Commission handed over to the World Health Organization.  At the same time, we also expended a great deal of effort and made excellent progress in such matters as determining the source of the sickness, the origin of the virus, detection of the illness, preventative medicines, vaccine development, and animal modeling.  Aside from that, our institute was also a designated organization in Wuhan, laboring to test for Covid-19.  From January 26 on, about 4000 samples of Covid-19 patient wipes accumulated.  Our institute also sent a small team of employees and grad students to support the city of Huang Gang (note: a city just east of Wuhan) in pathogen testing, working with all their heart and strength to control the epidemic.  

Looking back at the past more than a month of difficulties and labor, we have nothing to be ashamed of!  

In the current epidemic, scientific and technological research is the front line against pestilence.  Let us unite around the Central Party whose core is Comrade Xi Jinping, determine to answer the call of the Central Party, and wholeheartedly exhibit the value of the bastion of each party layer and the model of front-line pioneering!  Let everyone have determined faith, eliminate interference, unite as one, with all our beings do our best at scientific research and all facets of epidemiological control, showing through our accomplishments the mission and service of our "national STEM team," so that we win this war by controlling the epidemic, offering the strength of technological support!

So now, China, turn it up!  Wuhan turn it up!  We at Wuhan Virology will certainly turn it up!  

  United members of the leadership team, China Academy of Science Wuhan Institute of Virology

          February 19, 2020

See the source image
Shi Zhengli, the "Bat Woman" who has pioneered research into dangerous viruses found in bats at the Wuhan Virology Institute.   



  疫情发生以来,我所全力以赴开展科研攻关,我所同事、同学响应研究所号召,主动放弃春节假期,克服重重困难,严格落实疫情防控及实验室生物安全管理各项规定,争分夺秒、夜以继日,奋战在战“疫”第一线,践行科技工作者“创新科技,报国为民”的责任和担当。我所高等级生物安全团簇平台秉持面向国内外开放的 ,还为国内外相关机构开展新冠病毒联合科研攻关提供了有力 






1 comment:

Walkinjoy said...

Thank you for translating and posting this.