Scientists at the Chinese lab identified as a possible source of the coronavirus pandemic have recently reported being bitten by bats and spattered with blood while handling bats without protection.
The New York Post reports that TV footage showed researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) completely disregarding personal protective equipment when working with bats in the lab. Virus expert Cui Jie, seen in the video, admitted to having bat fangs go right through his glove. The video was first broadcasted in China on December 29, 2017 and notes that team members received rabies vaccines prior to taking samples.
Shi Zhengli, leader of the Wuhan lab, reportedly wrote, “the odds of directly infecting humans is very small.” However, this was written prior to her lab becoming the focus of worldwide attention in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The video recently resurfaced as concerns about the lab’s possible ties to the pandemic.
President Biden has ordered an investigation into the lab. Former President Donald Trump and his administration raised suspicions over the bat research that was being done at the lab and its connections to the pandemic’s outbreak. Biden recentered his focus on the lab after scientists at the lab noted a mysterious illness contracted by some researchers back in November 2019, just before the first COVID-19 cases were officially reported.
In light of these reports, Facebook was encouraged to reverse its ban on stories linking the lab to the coronavirus outbreak. BBC News also reported that China has accused Western media and the United States of spreading rumors. The Chinese government has instead been pushing the theory that the virus arrived in Wuhan on frozen meat from China or South-East Asia.