In an interview to Bloomberg, Anderson, 42, said that no one she knew at Wuhan was ill towards the end of 2019. “If people were sick, I assume that I would have been sick-and I wasn’t,” she said. “I was tested for coronavirus in Singapore before I was vaccinated, and had never had it,” the expert in bat-borne viruses was quoted as saying in the Bloomberg report.
Anderson was stationed in the BSL-4 lab that reportedly manages the planet’s most dangerous pathogens.
Anderson in the report said the lab had a system for reporting symptoms that correspond with the pathogens handled in high-risk containment labs.
“There was no chatter,” Anderson told the agency in the interview. “Scientists are gossipy and excited. There was nothing strange from my point of view going on at that point that would make you think something is going on here.”
China and Shi Zhengli, the lab’s now-famous bat-virus researcher and also known as bat lady, have denied that anyone from the facility contracted COVID-19. According to the report, Anderson’s work at the facility, and her funding, ended after the pandemic emerged and she focused on the novel coronavirus.
US President Joe Biden had ordered intelligence officials to “redouble their efforts” on the investigation of the origins of COVID-19, including whether it had emerged “from a laboratory accident.”
Anderson said with proof that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab, she “could foresee how things could maybe happen,” she told Bloomberg. “I’m not naive enough to say I absolutely write this (the lab leak theory) off.” However, she added: “The pandemic is something no one could have imagined on this scale. The virus was in the right place at the right time and everything lined up to cause this disaster,” she said.
Anderson still believes it most likely came from a natural source, adding that it took researchers almost a decade to pin down the pathogen behind SARS.
Anderson in her interview did concede that it would be theoretically possible for a scientist in the lab to be working on a gain of function technique to unknowingly infect themselves and to then unintentionally infect others in the community. But there’s no evidence that occurred and Anderson rated its likelihood as exceedingly slim.
She was reportedly impressed with the institute’s biocontainment lab, which she visited before it formally opened in 2018. Bloomberg reported the facility has the highest biosafety designation. Anderson said there were strict rules and regulations in place aimed to contain pathogens that were being studied.
Getting authorization to create a virus required many layers of approval, she said. The Australian scientist believes an investigation is needed to nail down the virus’s origin but is dumbfounded by the portrayal of the lab by some media outside China, and the toxic attacks on scientists that have ensued.