Dr. Malik Peiris, who previously served on the Lancet medical journal’s COVID-19 origins investigation committee, received China’s “Nobel Prize” for research affirming the Chinese Communist Party’s false narrative that COVID-19 developed naturally.
Peiris, a Sri Lankan virologist working in Hong Kong, was one of 12 scientists leading the now-defunct Lancet probe into the origins of COVID-19. While the task force is no longer listed on the medical journal’s website, as it was forced to disband due to extensive conflicts of interests with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, archived web pages reveal Peiris’s participation in the effort.
Following Peiris’s stint on the task force, the Chinese Communist Party awarded him with the prize in life sciences in the 2021 Future Science Prize – dubbed China’s “Nobel Prize.” China’s top scientific honor is accompanied by a $1 million prize, which is funded by several Chinese Communist Party-linked companies such as Baidu, Hillhouse Capital, and Sequoia Capital China.
State-run media outlet Global Times claimed the award was for his “major discoveries of SARS-CoV-1 as the causative agent of the global SARS outbreak in 2003 with impact on combating COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases.” Peiris shared the award with co-author Kwok-Yung Yuen.
In an exclusive interview with the Chinese Communist Party-run media outlet, Yuen asserted “this is one of the most important prizes not just in China but also internationally.”
Peiris’s research was praised by award reviewers as playing an integral role in tracing the origins of COVID-19, as reviewer Wang Xiaodong noted “Chinese scientists were able to quickly identify the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to their contributions.” The research bolstered the Chinese Communist Party’s fake narrative that COVID-19 developed naturally as opposed to escaping from a lab.
As Global Times explains, Peiris’s research helped “support the bat origin of SARS-CoV-2”:
When asked how their discoveries affect people’s understanding of the cause of COVID-19, Yuen explained that since he and his team discovered in 2005 that the horseshoe bat was the natural animal reservoir for the ancestral SARS-CoV-1, they believe that SARS-CoV-2 “also went from bats to another mammal(s) before jumping into humans.”
Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 replicates very well in both bat and human intestinal organs, which further supports the bat origin of SARS-CoV-2, he said.