Former CDC Director Robert R. Redfield Jr. warned fellow scientists against making hasty claims and displaying “arrogance” when it comes to their research.
Speaking with Fox News’ Dr. Marc Siegel on Tuesday on why he believes COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan lab in China, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned scientists about having too much self-confidence.
During a lengthy interview concerning the inherent dangers of gain-of-function research. as well as the likelihood of the virus emerging from a lab leak, Redfield worried over the scientific community’s overflowing self-confidence that nothing could go wrong. He cautioned against the belief that their work was infallible.
“It may be, in fact, that unfortunately, that’s not true anymore, that something did go wrong, and not intentionally,” hedged Redfield.
As for the contended lab leak, Redfield posited that a worker or workers could have contracted the virus and then appeared to be asymptomatic. Since no one would know that they were infected, they would simply go about spreading the disease and not have a clue that it had been set free. He does not agree with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position that human contact with an infected animal started the pandemic.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
“It’s not unfeasible that this virus escaped asymptomatically. And eventually, as cases developed in the elderly, we began to recognize an epidemic,” claimed Redfield.
The Wall Street Journal reported that three researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology were treated at hospitals for symptoms that were consistent with COVID-19 in late 2019.
“I’ve already told my own personal opinion, and it’s worth just what it is. You know, I’m a virologist. I was head of CDC at the time of the pandemic and I’ve worked with China for more than 20 years,” Redfield noted. “My view is that it’s more likely that this came from the laboratory than it came from nature.”
Redfield has been claiming for some time that he believes COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan lab and not from nature. But only recently have the media and those on the left started to consider the possibility. Social media platforms censored any mention of the lab leak theory for months.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
“When I said before that I didn’t think it was biologically plausible that COVID-19 went from a bat to some unknown animal into man and now had become one of the most infectious viruses,” Redfield commented, “That’s not consistent with how other coronaviruses have come into the human species. And, it does suggest that there’s an alternative hypothesis that it went from a bat virus, got into a laboratory, where, in the laboratory, it was taught, educated, it evolved, so that it became a virus that could efficiently transmit human to human.”
He expressed disappointment in what he views as a “lack of openness” within the scientific community to “pursue both hypotheses.”
“I’m just giving my best opinion as a virologist, and I don’t think it’s plausible that this virus went from a bat to an animal – we still don’t know that animal – and then went into humans and immediately had learned how to be human-to-human transmissible to the point of now causing one of the greatest pandemics we’ve had in the history of the world,” Redfield contended.
Societal viewpoints concerning the possibility that the virus came from a lab and not from nature are now shifting in the United States. Comedian Jon Stewart humorously put out there on Stephen Colbert’s show Monday that the virus came from the Wuhan virology lab.
Redfield stated that there should have been a “Manhattan Project” response to the outbreak and that testing of asymptomatic carriers should have been emphasized more in 2020. The “Manhattan Project” was a research and development endeavor that took place during World War II resulting in the first nuclear weapons.
He also believes that the World Health Organization is too incompetent to conduct an investigation into the origins of the virus: “Clearly, they were incapable of compelling China to adhere to the treaty agreements that they have on global health because they didn’t do that. Clearly, they allowed China to define the group of scientists that could come and investigate,” Redfield stated. “That’s not consistent with their role.”
Redfield is a 20-year veteran of the US Army Medical Corps and co-founded the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology. He served as CDC director in the Trump administration from March 26, 2018, to Jan. 20, 2021.
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