February 28, 2024

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on a CNN clip on Friday that he was advocating a theory that has been rejected by many scientists and dismissed as “extremely unlikely” by at least one international expert from the World Health Organization that of the coronavirus a laboratory in Wuhan escaped. The former officer, Dr. Robert Redfield, did not provide any evidence and insisted that this was his opinion.

“I believe that I still think that the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan comes from a laboratory that escaped. The other people don’t believe that. It’s good. Science will find out at some point, ”said Dr. Redfield in the video clip for Dr. Sanjay Gupta, referring to the origin of the virus. A formal report from the WHO team and the Chinese scientists it has worked with on the causes of the pandemic and human coronavirus is expected next week.

Despite Dr. Redfield say officials briefed through the secret service that there is no new evidence that would cause American spy agencies to reconsider their views. There is no new information to support the so-called laboratory theory, according to officials briefed by the intelligence services.

During the Trump administration, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and to a lesser extent the President himself, propounded the theory that the coronavirus had escaped from a laboratory.

Mr Pompeo urged the spy agencies to investigate the laboratory theory and Richard Grenell, then acting director of the national secret service, called for a review of what was known about the genesis of the novel coronavirus.

Some members of the Trump administration shared Mr Pompeo’s suspicion that an accident had occurred, and the coronavirus samples examined had accidentally infected workers who then spread it in Wuhan. These officials pointed out some scientific reports that they said strengthened their feelings.


March 27, 2021, 1:49 p.m. ET

Claims that the virus was deliberately created or modified in a laboratory have been rejected by scientists and US intelligence officials. The office of the Director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration agreed “with the broad scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”.

Although this statement was worded diplomatically, the message from the intelligence services was clear that despite pressure from the Trump administration, they had no evidence that the coronavirus had escaped the lab. And many intelligence officials remained far more skeptical than Mr Pompeo, telling colleagues that there was simply not enough information to say where the coronavirus came from, and certainly not enough to challenge the scientific consensus that was skeptical of laboratory theory .

The CIA and other intelligence agencies were skeptical that China would reveal everything it knew about the virus, though this was at least partly due to local officials withholding vital information from Beijing at the key start at the beginning of the outbreak.

A group of scientists who remain convinced of the possibility of a laboratory leak wrote an open letter in early March when the WHO team’s report first called for a thorough investigation of Chinese laboratories. Virologists who have studied the evolution of coronaviruses and the way they have jumped to humans in the past, causing SARS and MERS, continue to argue that the evidence of natural origin, other than a laboratory leak, is overwhelming .

The Chinese government, prominent Chinese scientists and many virologists who study the development of viruses and the incidence of infectious diseases said the laboratory leak theory is very unlikely, citing genetic evidence and the many possibilities for natural infections in human interactions with animals such as bats which are believed to have originated the virus.

When Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the foremost infectious disease expert in the United States, spoke to Dr. When asked about Redfield’s comments, he found that the comments were just an opinion. Dr. Fauci said there are several ways that viruses can be adapted to humans.

“They know one of them is in the lab, and one of them that most public health officials are more likely to agree with, that it was probably under the radar screen and spreading to the community in China for several weeks, if not a month or longer, which it made possible when it was first recognized clinically as being quite well fitted, ”said Dr. Fauci.

At the same press conference on Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the CDC, she looks forward to reviewing the upcoming joint report by WHO experts and Chinese scientists.

President Biden later refused to weigh himself.

“I have theories, but I’m not a scientist,” he said. “I will wait for the scientific community to make that judgment.”

Zachary Montague and Isabella Grullón Paz contributed to the coverage.