German scientist rejects Chinese media having him saying coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan

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A man in Wuhan, China walks by a mural. (Photo courtesy: NPR)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec15’20) – A top German biochemist “quoted” by Chinese state media as saying that the novel coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan has dismissed their reportage as “pure propaganda”. In fact, he said in an emailed interview that there is no evidence to suggest that the virus did not come from the central Chinese city, reported the hindustantimes.com Dec 14.

Alexander Kekule, director of the Institute for Biosecurity Research in Halle, Germany, has strongly denied the version of his argument published in Chinese state media, saying it had twisted his words out of context.

“The origin of the virus in China is described in detail in my book, and also the Chinese efforts to conceal the magnitude of the outbreak at the beginning. I never stated that the virus originally came from Italy, this is pure propaganda,” he was quoted as saying.

Alexander Kekule, director of the Institute for Biosecurity Research in Halle, Germany. (Photo courtesy: EAPD20)

“Chinese media are quoting from my recent bestseller book Der Corona-Kompass (The Corona Compass, available only in German so far) and from an interview I gave about the book in the popular German TV show Markus Lanz,” Kekule has said.

Kekule also holds a chair as University Professor and Director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology at Martin Luther University in Halle.

Based on Chinese state media’s misreporting of his interview to the German TV show, which had soon spread across Chinese social media, many had thanked Kekule for clearing China’s name.

“Unfortunately, they are taking one or two phrases out of context, giving my statement a made-up twist. Chinese state media are referring to my account of the outbreak in Northern Italy and my critique of the WHO and EU in this context,” Kekule has said.

“There is, however, no scientific basis to deny that the virus originally came from China… I explained (on the television show) that the virus came of course from China, but the “G” variant was able to prevail in northern Italy because the outbreak was not detected there for several weeks, paving the way to the pandemic around the globe, including re-imports to China.”

The German scientist has said he went on the same television show to explain his position.

“The same evening I spoke again on the TV show Markus Lanz and we made it crystal clear that I had been misquoted in an act of propaganda,” he was quoted as saying.

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