Alina Chan, a postdoctoral researcher at MIT and Harvard University, said she was accused of racism for investigating the possibility of COVID-19 leaking from a Wuhan, China, lab.
Chan began asking questions about the origins of the virus and challenging the wet market theory in March 2020, voicing her concerns on Twitter to an often hostile scientific community. Chan, who is ethnically Chinese, said she was called a “race traitor” for suggesting the virus could have been caused by a lab accident in Wuhan.
“Even other scientists were calling me anti-scientific or racist, or a race traitor. And so, a scientific problem became corrupted,” Chan explained at a Hudson Institute event Monday. She said scientists struggled to gather evidence and discuss their analysis amid accusations that anyone who suspected a lab leak in Asia must be racist.
“We could possibly have a future where only lab outbreaks in white-people countries can be investigated, whereas anything that comes from parts of Asia or Africa or South America cannot be investigated because it would be racist or anti-scientific,” Chan said. “That’s crazy.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci publicly downplayed the possibility of COVID-19 having escaped from the American-funded Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in April 2020. The mainstream media only began reporting on the lab leak theory as a real possibility in May 2021 — after over a year of decrying it as unscientific and racist — when The Wall Street Journal reported that a likely COVID-19 outbreak occurred at the Wuhan lab in late 2019.