Biotech Worker Suspected of Hiding Coronavirus Symptoms Defied US Travel Ban

Suspect took fever-reducing medication, lied to flight attendants

Image Credits: Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

A biotech worker infected with coronavirus is suspected of hiding her symptoms in order to fly from Boston to China now faces up to seven years in prison, according to reports.

Jie Li was very recently terminated from her position as associate director of biostatistics at Biogen, a biotech company based in Massachusetts which is reportedly linked to 30 percent of COVID-19 cases in the state.

“Of the 328 confirmed cases of the disease in Massachusetts, 30 percent of them are linked back to Cambridge-based Biogen after several employees at a conference held by the company at the Marriott Long Wharf tested positive for the virus and traveled across the country, further spreading the disease,” Boston 25 reports.

“Belmont native Jie Li is being accused of knowing she was sick and of taking medication to bring down her fever in order to fly under the radar so she could travel to one of the countries under President Trump’s travel ban.”

Li was not at the conference, but is believed to have come in contact with attendees.

She is suspected of then flying from Boston to China, via Los Angeles, flouting a travel ban imposed by the U.S. government.

“The woman took fever-reducing medication before boarding a plane and lied to flight attendants, according to Beijing’s disease control center and an Air China representative,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Biogen says it has since terminated Li.

“We can confirm that Ms. Li was a U.S. Biogen employee who made the personal decision to travel to China without informing the company and ignoring the guidance of health experts,” a Biogen spokesman said.

“She is no longer an employee of Biogen. We are deeply dismayed by the situation as reported by the media in China.”

Li, who is now in intensive care in China, faces up to seven years in prison, according to the Times.

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