Japanese Nobel laureate Honjo rebuts rumours on COVID-19 origins

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Tasuku Honjo

JAPANESE Nobel laureate Tasuku Honjo on Wednesday refuted claims that China manufactured the novel Coronavirus, saying those rumours are “dangerously distracting”.

“I am greatly saddened that my name and that of Kyoto University have been used to spread false accusations and misinformation,” the 78-year-old Japanese professor said in a statement released by Kyoto University on April 27.

“This is a time for all of us, especially those of us devoting our careers to the forefronts of scientific research, to work together to fight this common enemy,’’ Honjo, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in  Medicine, said.

Honjo was recognised with American researcher James Allison for their game-changing discoveries about how to harness and manipulate the immune system to fight cancer.

“At this stage, our energies are needed to treat the illness and prevent the further spread of sorrow.

“We should however plan for a new beginning,’’ he noted.

According to him, the broadcasting of unsubstantiated claims regarding the origins of the disease is dangerously distracting.

“In the wake of the pain, economic loss, and unprecedented global suffering caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am greatly saddened that my name and that of Kyoto University have been used to spread false accusations and misinformation.

“The claim also misleadingly says I worked in a Wuhan laboratory in China,” Honjo noted.

According to his professional trajectory visible here, he has only worked in Japan and the U.S.

Since 1984, Honjo has been working at Kyoto University as a professor and currently as Deputy Director-General at the Institute for Advanced Study. (Xinhua/NAN)

– May 6, 2020 @ 12:12 GMT |

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