Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield says he received death threats from fellow scientists after voicing support for the idea coronavirus originated from a lab in Wuhan.
As part of a sweeping investigation into the battles inside the federal government over the origins of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic, Vanity Fair reported on the backlash Redfield received from the scientific community after telling CNN in March that he believes the virus accidentally escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“In late March, former Centers for Disease Control director Robert Redfield received death threats from fellow scientists after telling CNN that he believed COVID-19 had originated in a lab.”https://t.co/FRNiBCvcmv
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 3, 2021
“I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human,” Redfield told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta in the March interview. “Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoo to human, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human to human transmission.”
The former CDC director told Vanity Fair his inbox was flooded with threats both from strangers who thought he was being “racially insensitive” and prominent scientists, one of whom told him to just “wither and die.”
“I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis. I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,” Redfield added.
The COVID-19 lab-leak theory has recently gained prominent attention from media outlets that initially dismissed it as a conspiracy theory despite information in the public domain since February 2020 pointing to its credibility. (RELATED: POLL: Most Americans Now Believe COVID-19 Leaked From Lab But Still Sharply Divided By Party, Class)
After initially shutting down a Trump-era State Department probe into the origins of the virus, President Joe Biden also recently instructed his intelligence agencies to conduct a 90-day review into the lab-leak theory.