In one interview with CNN Released on Friday March 26, Redfield stressed that this was his “opinion” on the origins of the virus, and he did not cite any evidence for that theory. “I’m allowed to have opinions now,” he said.“I’m of the opinion that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a lab, you know, that escaped,” Redfield told CNN’s Dr Sanjay Gupta. “Other people don’t believe it, that’s fine. Science will eventually find out. ”
The origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have been hotly debated, and some experts have said we may never know exactly where the virus came from, Previously reported Live Science. The idea that the virus emerged from a lab originated at the start of the pandemic, when people noted that a high-security biolab in Wuhan, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), was studying coronavirus.
Still, a number of scientists say the most likely explanation is that the virus arose naturally, passing from bats to another animal and then to humans, Previously reported Live Science. Recently, a team from the World Health Organization, which is investigating the origins of SARS-CoV-2, said it agreed with this hypothesis – WHO officials said the virus was probably passed from bats to animals on wildlife farms in China, then humans, Previously reported Live Science.
Redfield said he doesn’t believe in the bat theory. “Normally, when a pathogen changes from a zoonosis to humans, it takes a while for them to figure out how to become increasingly effective in human-to-human transmission,” Redfield told CNN. “I just don’t think it makes any biological sense. ”
The former CDC chief wasn’t suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 is an artificial virus – another theory with no supporting evidence – just a natural escapee. “In the lab, do you think this process of becoming more efficient was going on? Gupta asked.
“Yeah, let’s just say I have coronavirus I’m working on. Most of us in the lab, we’re trying to grow a virus, we’re trying to help it grow better and better… so that we can experiment, ”Redfield replied.
But some experts have noted that the SARS-CoV-2 genome is genetically different from other coronaviruses that were being studied in the Wuhan lab in important ways.
“The SARS-CoV-2 virus has key differences in specific genes from previously identified coronaviruses – those with which a lab would work,” Dr. Adam Lauring, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the ‘University of Michigan Medical School told Live Science in April 2020. “This constellation of changes makes it unlikely that it is the result of a lab’ escape ‘. ”
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded to Redfield’s comments by telling CNN: “Obviously there are a number of theories… Dr Redfield mentioned that he was giving an opinion on one possibility, but again, there are other alternatives – others, which most people hold onto. ”
Originally posted on Live Science.