Assuming that Fauci was acting in good faith and was not actively complicit in a Chinese cover up, Redfield argued that the infectious disease expert had jumped to a conclusion prematurely when he insisted that COVID-19 could only have originated naturally even though there was not much evidence supporting that hypothesis.
“Fauci … would prefer to support that it evolved from nature,” he told Fox News this week.
“I think Tony is holding on to this hypothesis tightly,” he continued. “Why would that be? Sometimes scientists bite into a bone on a hypothesis. It’s hard for them to move on.”
The stakes were particularly high for the glory-hound Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, who also was revealed recently to be the highest-paid federal employee.
After getting thrust into the global spotlight, he became something of a folk hero in left-wing media for openly contradicting then-President Donald Trump.
He soon found himself inundated with interview requests and even book deals to discuss his heroic handling of the pandemic crisis.
Redfield, who was one of the first public health officials to entertain the lab leak theory, said bat-to-human transmission is “not consistent” with how similar viruses have been picked up by humans in the past, and he suggested the Wuhan Institute of Virology was, in fact, conducting “gain-of-function” research that made the virus more transmissible.
“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—that’s not consistent with how other coronaviruses have come into the human species,” he explained.
“And, it does suggest that there’s an alternative hypothesis that it went from a bat virus, got into a laboratory, wherein the laboratory it was taught, educated, it evolved so that it became a virus that could efficiently transmit human to human,” he added. “My professional opinion, as a virologist, that’s the hypothesis I support.”
Redfield also blasted the World Health Organization for its May 30 coronavirus origins report that dismissed the lab-leak theory as “extremely unlikely.”
The report was clearly an attempt to appease China, Redfield said.
“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,” Redfield said.
“Clearly, they allowed China to define the group of scientists that could come and investigate,” he continued. “That’s not consistent with their role.”