CNN’s Sanjay Gupta appeared taken aback in a new interview as former CDC Director Robert Redfield shared his “opinion” on the origins of COVID-19.
Gupta spoke with Redfield as part of a new CNN documentary about the COVID-19 pandemic, and the former CDC chief revealed he thinks it’s likely the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab and was possibly already being transmitted in September 2019.
“If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September, October in Wuhan,” Redfield said. “That’s my own view. It’s only an opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now.”
Redfield continued that he thinks the “most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped,” though he said he’s not “implying any intentionality” and reiterated “it’s my opinion.” The World Health Organization’s Dr. Peter Ben Embarek said last month it’s “extremely unlikely” that the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan and that instead, “our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway,” per NBC News.
But Redfield told CNN, “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.” He noted, though, that “other people don’t believe” this Wuhan lab theory, and “science will eventually figure it out.”
Gupta commented on the “remarkable” nature of this conversation, noting that these are “significant” statements to be made by an official who served as the CDC’s director throughout most of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, Gupta said on CNN while setting up the clip, “This was extraordinary.” Watch the exchange below. Brendan Morrow
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