A research assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh was found dead in an apparent homicide on Tuesday, where he was working on coronavirus research. Local police said that 37-year-old Bing Liu was shot inside his Elm Court townhome by a man who, after pulling the trigger, went to his car and shot himself, according to WTAE.
"Bing was on the verge of making very significant findings toward understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie SARS-CoV-2 infection and the cellular basis of the following complications," his department wrote in a statement, which you can read in full here. "We will make an effort to complete what he started in an effort to pay homage to his scientific excellence. His loss will be felt throughout the entire scientific community. The statement also called Lie an "outstanding researcher who has earned the respect and appreciation of many colleagues in the field, and made unique contributions to science."
The other man was identified as 46-year old Hao Gu. At this time, police don't believe the relationship between the two tied into Liu's coronavirus research. "We haven't had anything at this point that has come to the investigation that has anything to do with Mr. Liu's employment or his research," Det. Brian Kolhepp said.
Along with major disruptions to day-to-day life, the coronavirus pandemic has also managed to spawn a number of baseless conspiracy theories. On Friday, the U.S. intelligence community released a statement saying that it "concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified." Still, they "will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan."
That hasn't stopped certain people like Roseanne Barr or John Cusack who are some of the many that have been making false statements about COVID-19. This includes it being designed to wipe out a generation or the fact that it's somehow linked to 5G technology, neither of which are true. Fox News even severed ties with regular contributors Diamond & Silk after repeatedly pushing lies about the reality of coronavirus. According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 1.2 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with just over 71,000 deaths.