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Danielle Anderson in Melbourne on June 22.
Danielle Anderson in Melbourne on June 22.Photographer: James Bugg/Bloomberg
The Big Take

The Last—And Only—Foreign Scientist in the Wuhan Lab Speaks Out

Virologist Danielle Anderson paints a very different picture of the Wuhan Institute.

Danielle Anderson was working in what has become the world’s most notorious laboratory just weeks before the first known cases of Covid-19 emerged in central China. Yet, the Australian virologist still wonders what she missed.

An expert in bat-borne viruses, Anderson is the only foreign scientist to have undertaken research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s BSL-4 lab, the first in mainland China equipped to handle the planet’s deadliest pathogens. Her most recent stint ended in November 2019, giving Anderson an insider’s perspective on a place that’s become a flashpoint in the search for what caused the worst pandemic in a century.