Wuhan lab misportrayed by Western media, says Australian scientist
An Australian scientist who has worked in the Wuhan lab said that the lab was "more routine" than portrayed in the media.
"It was a regular lab that worked in the same way as any other high-containment lab," Danielle Anderson said in an interview with Bloomberg. "What people are saying is just not how it is."
Anderson, 42, started collaborating with the biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in central China in 2016, where her last stint finished in November 2019.
Describing her work on Ebola in the lab as realization of her "life-long career goal", the virologist shared details of the lab different from Western media reports.
The lab, she said, has the highest bio-safety designation, as well as strict protocols and requirements to contain pathogen being studied.
She also said that one has to go through complicated procedure when exiting the lab, including chemical shower and personal shower. She was even inspired by the lab's method to make and monitor disinfectants and introduced the system to her own lab.
Anderson said that her colleagues looked after her during her stay there. "We went to dinners together, lunches, we saw each other outside of the lab," she said.
Bloomberg reported that Anderson was "dumbfounded by the portrayal of the lab by some media outside China, and the toxic attacks on scientists that have ensued."
Some Western media reports said that three researchers from the Wuhan lab were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms in November 2019, but Anderson said no one she knew at that time was ill.
People in the lab are required to report symptoms that correspond with the pathogens handled. "If people were sick, I assume that I would have been sick – and I wasn't," said Anderson. "I was tested for coronavirus in Singapore before I was vaccinated, and had never had it."
The scientist who has worked with some renowned virologists for years knew well that pathogen could escape from a lab, but she was convinced that no virus was made intentionally to infect people and released deliberately.