Former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield: COVID-19 Virus Came From A Lab In China | Video | RealClearPolitics

Former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield: COVID-19 Virus Came From A Lab In China

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Former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Robert Redfield said in an interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta he believes the pathogen behind the COVID-19 virus was created in a laboratory and "escaped."

"I'm of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped," Redfield said in the CNN interview.

"That's my own view. It's only an opinion. I'm allowed to have opinions now," the retired public servant said. "Other people don't believe that. That's fine. Science will eventually figure it out. It's not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker."


"I am a virologist," Redfield said. "I have spent my life in virology. I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and at that moment in time, the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human-to-human transmission. "

ROBERT REDFIELD, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR:  If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September, October in Wuhan.  
 
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT:  September, October?  
 
REDFIELD:  That's my own view. It's only an opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now.  
 
You know, I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped.  
 
Other people don't believe that. That's fine. Science will eventually figure it out.  
 
It's not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker.  
 
GUPTA (voice-over):  It's also not unusual for that type of research to be occurring in Wuhan. The city is a widely known center for viral studies in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has experimented extensively with bat coronaviruses.  
 
It is a remarkable conversation I feel like we're having here because you are the former CDC director, and you were the director at the time this was all happening.  
 
For the first time, the former CDC director is stating publicly that he believes this pandemic started months earlier than we knew. And that it originated, not at a wet market, but inside a lab in China.  
 
These are two significant things to say, Dr. Redfield.  
 
REDFIELD:  That's not implying any intentionality, you know? It's my opinion, right?  
 
But I am a virologist. I have spent my life in virology. I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and at that moment in time, the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human-to-human transmission.  
 
Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonotic to human, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human to human transmission. I just don't think this makes biological sense.  
 
GUPTA:  So in the lab, do you think that process of becoming more efficient was happening? Is that what you are suggesting?  
 
REDFIELD:  Yeah, let's just say, I have coronavirus and I’m working on it. Most of us in the lab are trying to grow virus. We try to help make it grow better and better and better and better and better and better so we can do experiments and figure about it. I -- that's the way I put it together.  
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