"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 said. "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."
Redfield on WHO and China:
DR. MARC SIEGEL, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You were there at the -- when Fauci talked to world leaders and said the lab leak was a possibility. And that's about the only time we know of where he said that.
He said that to me recently, by the way, very recently. What was that like?
REDFIELD: No, I think Tony is an honest scientist. I really do.
And I think he's going out more vocally, based on how people have asked him questions. It's not like he's giving a state-of-the-art lecture, and he says, I think that the only solution or credible -- is this.
No, people ask him questions, and they're leading questions. So, I think Tony firmly believes that this virus could have also come from the lab. I don't know why he allows himself to be so buttonholed that he's more in favor -- because, really, as a leading scientist (AUDIO GAP) to be is we, have two hypotheses.
Let's let science figure out which one is more credible than the other? I don't think we're ever going to prove it. Just like you and I, when we diagnose somebody, we frequently don't -- we can't prove it. But we can make our clinical judgment and treat it, and then move on.
So, I think I'd like to see him more publicly balanced.
SIEGEL: Is it too late for the world to shed a spotlight on China, on George Gao, on Shi Zhengli, on players in and around the Wuhan lab?
Is it too late to go there and try to solve this and get some proof?
REDFIELD: I'm hopeful that we will be able to get China to acknowledge the reality, if the hypothesis that I propose is true.
But I don't think it's a unilateral reality. I think there's joint culpability, joint responsibility. I mean, the United States funded a lot of that research. So, this is just not China. And I don't think it helps by pointing fingers at China.
Gain of function research being pursued in laboratories was not just a China decision. Many European scientists, many American scientists have been pushing gain of function research.
So I think there's -- I think, in a sense, there's a broad responsibility, the United States, I could argue even some of the Europeans that promoted gain of function research, and, obviously, China.
And I think if we collectively recognize that there was joint accountability, we have a better chance of getting to the right answer.
SIEGEL: I must say -- and you don't have to comment on this. But I must say I'm not -- and I have been very public about this -- not particularly thrilled with the role the World Health Organization played.
You can comment on that, but I feel that they were -- they were part of the suppression that went on.
REDFIELD: I think they were highly compromised.
I had many conversations with Tedros in the first week of January about me going into China, thinking -- at least making him aware of it. I know he was in discussions. And I didn't know where they were about getting in.
In retrospect, I'm not sure they helped me try to get into China. I didn't get into China. 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. That's not consistent with their role.
I think, Marc, one of the things that this tells people, that if the WHO doesn't have the teeth to do their job, then we have to find some treaty organization that has the teeth to do their job, because we can't afford to have these pathogens occur in different countries and have no access to figure things out.
MACCALLUM: Very strong words from Dr. Robert Redfield.