CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is backing former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield's March 26 assertion in an interview with Gupta that COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan lab which was performing gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses to make them more easily infect humans, and did not originate via the 'natural origin' theory.
"I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human," said Redfield. "Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonot to human, it takes a while for it to figure out how to become more & more efficient in human to human transmission."
And while CNN's anchors sneered at Redfield's opinion, Gupta is backing it, according to the Daily Mail.
"He's an experienced virologist. He was also head of the CDC at the time this was happening, which means that in addition to everything that we know, he had access to raw data and raw intelligence that was coming out of China," Gupta told Mediaite's "The Interview" podcast.
"My point is that it’s a much more informed sort of thing for him to be saying than for anybody who may have expertise in virology, because he has a lot more knowledge and information that he has that maybe he can’t share, but is informing his opinion."
"I was not as shocked by what he said as the fact that he said it," Gupta added. "There's reason to suspect that this is the origin of the virus."
"It's a big virology lab right in Wuhan that happened to be studying bat coronaviruses. Just from an Occam's razor standpoint, finding the simplest explanation, it would make sense ... "We still don't know for certain what the origin is."
(relevant portion begins at 25:30)
More via the Daily Mail:
China has furiously denied that coronavirus escaped from its lab, instead placing the blame on a 'wet market' in Wuhan, where live animals could have transmitted the virus to humans.
In his interview, Gupta pointed out that there was also no solid evidence pointing to the wet market as the origin, and questioned the likelihood of that theory.
Redfield made headlines last month with his explosive interview with Gupta, when he said: 'I'm 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 laboratories to infect the laboratory worker,' he said.
'That's not implying any intentionality. It's my opinion, right? But I am a virologist. I have spent my life in virology.'
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Following Redfield's comments, Dr. Anthony Fauci rushed to do damage control - saying in a White House press briefing that "most scientists believe COVID-19 didn't come from a lab."