Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday he believes he was deliberately excluded from early conference calls discussing the origins of COVID-19.
Redfield told the House Oversight Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci and National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins allegedly wanted to promote a “single narrative” about the origins of COVID-19. Redfield, an early proponent of the lab leak theory, has been a staunch critic of investigations conducted by the World Health Organization into the spread of the virus.
“I obviously had a different point of view” from Fauci and Collins, Redfield told Republican New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. “I felt it was not scientifically plausible that this virus went from a bat to humans and became one of the most infectious viruses we have in humans. All viruses are not the same. So when you look at coronaviruses, SARS and MERS for example, when they entered the human species which they did via an intermediate, they never learned how to go human to human. Even to this day they don’t know how to go human to human.”
Redfield added he only learned about a Feb. 1, 2020, phone call between Fauci, Collins, Wellcome Trust director Jeremy Farrar and other scientists when emails detailing the call were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act. (RELATED: Former CDC Director Says He Was ‘Sidelined’ And ‘Threatened’ For Taking Lab Leak Theory Seriously)
.@RepBradWenstrup: “Has gain-of-function stopped a pandemic in your opinion?”
Dr. Robert Redfield: “No, in the contrary, I think it probably caused the greatest pandemic our world has seen.” pic.twitter.com/EBixJt0qCO
— Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (@COVIDSelect) March 8, 2023
“I was quite upset as the CDC director that I was excluded in those discussions. Why would they do this? Because I had a different point of view and I was told they made a decision that they would keep this confidential,” Redfield testified.
Before the call, Scripps Research Institute evolutionary biologist Kristian Andersen emailed Fauci his opinion that features of COVID-19 “potentially” appeared “engineered.” Several days after, however, Andersen wrote he was part of a group “focused on trying to disprove any type of lab theory.” He co-authored the paper titled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,” which argued for a natural origin of the virus.