Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control in USA during Donald Trump’s presidency, has said that he believes that the novel Coronavirus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The former CDC chief also speculated that the virus was already in transmission in China’s Hubei province by September or October 2019.
“That’s my own view. It’s only an opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now,” Robert Redfield said. “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,” he added.
Robert Redfield said, “I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory. 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 the laboratory worker.”
The comments made by Robert Redfield is consistent with some of the earlier reports in the media. A paper published by Chinese scientists in April 2020 suggested that the virus ‘probably’ originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
The report detailed the tracing of COVID-19 to the intermediate host Horseshoe bat, a bat that they confirmed was not available at the Wuhan wet market and did not live locally. In fact, the report noted that native populations were no closer than 900kms away from the first known cases, making a natural transmission from bat to human appear more unlikely.
According to the Chinese research paper, the only place those particular bats existed locally was inside a research facility which was just several hundred yards from the Wuhan wet market. The paper strongly concluded that the coronavirus pandemic had likely been the result of a leak from the lab.
The same month, another Fox News report said that the virus was leaked accidentally by an intern working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The report said the intern contracted the virus accidentally before transmitting it to others. A Chinese virologist had said that she has evidence of the claim that the virus was manufactured at the Wuhan lab.
Days before moving out of the White House, the Trump administration had released a factsheet alleging that the virus was possibly accidentally released from Wuhan Institute of Virology and demanded a thorough probe. However, throughout all of this, the WHO, which was accused of helping China cover up its role in spreading the pandemic, has maintained that it is extremely unlikely that the virus originated from a lab.