The former director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention under the Trump Administration believes COVID-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Robert Redfield told CNN in a documentary interview that it was his “opinion” that the virus “escaped” from the laboratory.
“I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan was from a laboratory — escaped,” he said. “Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out.”
Redfield continued, “It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect the laboratory worker. … That’s not implying any intentionality. It’s my opinion, right? But I am a virologist. I have spent my life in virology.”
Despite a lack of clear evidence, former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a CNN documentary clip released Friday that he believes the novel coronavirus began transmitting in fall 2019 and that the virus may have originated in a lab in China. https://t.co/r4CpbrNsBl pic.twitter.com/GZl1BbM5ZO
— New Day (@NewDay) March 26, 2021
Redfield questioned the theory of how the virus could jump from a bat to a human, saying, “I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and at that moment in time, that the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human-to-human transmission.”
According to the former director, viruses that transmit from animals to humans take longer to become effective at human-to-human transmission.
“I just don’t think this makes biological sense,” he said.
The New York Post reports:
SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan in December 2019 — with many scientists believing it emerged at a wet market just under nine miles from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
But Redfield said he believes the bug was circulating as early as September or October of that year.
A probe by the World Health Organization concluded recently that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus stemmed from a lab accident — and that it likely originated in animals before it spread to humans.
Report: NIH Confirms Wuhan Lab Authorized to Receive Taxpayer Funding Through 2024
The National Institute of Health confirmed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is eligible for taxpayer funding for animal research through 2024.
The Daily Caller reports that the WIV has “an active Foreign Assurance” with the NIH, enabling the lab to receive U.S. taxpayer funding.
A NIH spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the WIV’s Foreign Assurance was approved on Jan. 9, 2019, and is currently set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024.
The spokeswoman did not confirm whether the WIV is currently receiving direct or indirect taxpayer funding for research activities involving animals. EcoHealth Alliance’s last known subgrant to the WIV was in May 2019, according to USASpending.Gov.
Many speculate that COVID-19 could have been leaked into the Chinese population in Wuhan through the lab as researchers were studying the coronavirus prior to the pandemic. The project, as the Daily Caller notes, was partially funded by the U.S., which shelled out $600,000 to support the research via a nonprofit group called EcoHealth Alliance.
The Daily Caller report continues:
The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, was the sole U.S. member of the World Health Organization delegation that investigated the origins of the pandemic on the ground in China in January and February. While the WHO delegation has yet to release a report on their findings, Daszak said the White House should blindly accept their conclusion that it’s highly unlikely the virus could have leaked from the WIV.
Daszak also said American intelligence, which indicates researchers at the WIV became infected with COVID-like symptoms before the first known cases in December 2019, shouldn’t be trusted.
It was also recently reported that the Biden Administration has authorized the United States to pay the World Health Organization $200 million by the end of February.
The plan to reengage with WHO was announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Republican lawmakers are slamming the move, with Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) saying in a statement, “The WHO misled the world at the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, and President Biden is making a serious mistake by resuming funding to this organization without meaningful commitments for reform and transparency.”
WHO Concludes it’s “Unlikely” COVID-19 Leaked from Wuhan Lab
The World Health Organization has concluded that it is “unlikely” that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Just the News reports:
The team of World Health Organization researchers that has been in China over the past few weeks trying to determine how the novel coronavirus started in that country says the disease is unlikely to have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and more likely jumped from an animal to a human.
The conclusion was announced Tuesday as the team concluded its investigation.
One of the WHO researchers on the team was a British zoologist who “helped channel federal funding grants in 2019 to the Wuhan lab,” notes Just the News.
Concerns have been raised about the Chinese Communist Party’s transparency as it relates to the origins of the virus.
In May, President Trump announced the U.S. would be “terminating” its relationship with WHO due to its failed response to the virus.
“Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent public health needs,” Trump said. “The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency.”
President Trump has also slammed the WHO for being “China-centric.”
“China has total control over the World Health Organization despite only paying $40 million per year compared to what the United States has been paying, which is approximately $450 million a year.”
Of course, President Trump’s tough stance on China and the WHO has been overturned under the new Biden Administration.
During his first week in office, Biden signed an executive order to stop the United States’ departure from the World Health Organization.
“Once the United States resumes its engagement with the WHO, the Biden-Harris Administration will work with the WHO and our partners to strengthen and reform the organization, support the COVID-19 health and humanitarian response, and advance global health and health security,” a statement from Biden’s transition team said.