Chinese scientist evicted after publishing COVID sequence protests

Chinese scientist evicted after publishing COVID sequence protests

Virologist Zhang Yongzhen, recognized for being the first to publish a sequence of the COVID-19 virus in China, has begun a sit-in protest after being locked out of his laboratory by authorities. The eviction of Zhang and his team from their workspace is the most recent incident in a pattern of professional repercussions they have faced since the release of the virus sequence in early 2020. The circumstances surrounding their eviction remain unclear, but it follows a trajectory of setbacks, demotions, and ousters for the team.

The sit-in protest by Zhang has been ongoing since Sunday, taking place outside the lab, even amidst inclement weather. Details of the protest were shared on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, although the post was subsequently deleted, reflecting a potential suppression of the incident's visibility online.

This event adds to the broader context of how the Chinese government manages its scientific community and the flow of information regarding its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. It underscores the tension between academic freedom and government control, particularly in matters related to public health crises. Zhang's protest appears to be a statement against the pressures and scrutiny faced by scientists in China in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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