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Home Don't Miss Wuhan Institute of Virology Fell into Vortex, Busy Clarifying Rumors

Wuhan Institute of Virology Fell into Vortex, Busy Clarifying Rumors

The wave of rumors surrounding the Wuhan Virus Institute came to public opinion one after another. “To be honest, our PR capability is extremely poor,” said a graduate student at the Wuhan Virus Research Institute.

Wuhan Institute of Virology
Wuhan Institute of Virology

“No one will believe in any response. The public is only willing to believe what they want to see.” There is no answer to the source of the novel coronavirus pneumonia virus that has swept the country. Rumors surrounding the Wuhan Virus Research Institute have flowed into the public opinion one after another, and a graduate student at the Wuhan Virus Research Institute said that the misinterpretation of the media has caused him and teachers a headache.

At the beginning of the novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic, some people have laughed at the virus “choosing the wrong fetus”: Where to choose, I prefer Wuhan, which has a P4 laboratory. Some even said, “If Wuhan can’t figure it out, no one can do it.”

The change came too fast, topics such as “synthetic virus”, “Director’s Gate”, “Shuanghuanglian Gate”, and “Paying for Patent” have been fermented on social media. Wuhan Virus Research Institute has fallen into a whirlpool for a while, although it is about twenty kilometers from the South China Seafood Market.

At present, the National Virus Prevention Institute, Wuhan Virus Research Institute, is busy refuting rumors—for example, a former graduate student of the institute is the “patient zero” of novel coronavirus pneumonia, there are also some “reasonable guesses” that ordinary people seem to have: Posts to strengthen biosecurity have been published almost every year, but at this point, the post is inevitably imaginative.

The most recent vocalization was on February 19th, the Wuhan Virus Research Institute released a “letter to the staff and graduate students” on the official website, saying that the virus originated from synthesis, P4 laboratory leaks, and patient zero were all rumors. The open letter stated that these rumors had caused great harm to the scientific research personnel of the institute, and also seriously interfered with the emergency scientific research tasks of the war “epidemic” undertaken by the institute.

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

In the open letter, the Wuhan Virus Research Institute reviewed the work done since the outbreak, such as quickly determining the full genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus, isolating the virus strain, and submitting the virus sequence to the World Health Organization. “We have a clear conscience.”

With the exception of the few rumors, the Wuhan Virus Research Institute at the Storm Center has almost never vocalized.

Wuhan branch, Chinese academy of sciences
Wuhan branch, Chinese academy of sciences

On the morning of February 22, the Wuhan Branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences was unusually quiet. The building of Wuhan Institute of Virology was located in the institution compound, and only one car entered within 15 minutes. Security declined the interview request from Southern Weekend.

Wuhan Virus Research Institute, Zhengli Shi
Wuhan Virus Research Institute, Zhengli Shi

Faced with external accusations, Zhengli Shi, director of the Wuhan Infectious Diseases Research Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, once “guarantees her life” and categorically denied the possibility of the team leaking the virus.

The aforementioned graduate student said that Zhengli Shi’s own scientific research tasks are very heavy, but now she needs to spend a lot of energy to deal with such things. “To be honest, our public relations ability is extremely poor.”

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Nancy Huang
I'm a journalist in Shenzhen, China. I have been working in several news agencies in China since 2008.

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