China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Warns New COVID ‘Variants Will Continue to Emerge’

Earlier this year, Shi Zhengli flatly denied allegations that the Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted studies with the Chinese military after she was accused by the US of carrying out risky experiments with SARS-like coronaviruses of bat origin.

Shi Zhengli, the deputy director of Сhina’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), has warned that the world should brace itself to coexist with COVID-19 as the virus will continue to mutate and spread across the globe.

A top Chinese virologist, Shi was dubbed by the Chinese media “Bat Woman” for her consistent work with bat coronaviruses and included in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

“We shouldn’t panic, but we need to prepare to coexist with the [corona] virus in the long term”, Shi said in an interview with the Chinese media on Wednesday.

She spoke after WIV grabbed global headlines once again earlier this week, when CNN reported that US intelligence agencies hacked cloud servers containing data related to coronavirus samples studied at the WIV lab.

The Chinese language data, which is reportedly yet to be deciphered, could be a key to revealing the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to CNN.

The ex-adviser argued that he had received the information from foreign scientists inside the lab who ostensibly saw some researchers there in military garments. WIV officials have repeatedly insisted that the facility is only used for civilian purposes.
The former Trump administration, on multiple occasions, claimed the disease had originated in a Wuhan lab, with the 45th president referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus”. Beijing has repeatedly rejected the allegation, calling on Washington to stop politicising the issue and insisting that the coronavirus may have been leaked from a US Army lab.

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