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— NEWS — Tom Cotton Responds To Ex-CDC Chief’s Belief That Pandemic Started In Lab: ‘This Was Never A Conspiracy Theory’

— NEWS — Tom Cotton Responds To Ex-CDC Chief’s Belief That Pandemic Started In Lab: ‘This Was Never A Conspiracy Theory’

ijjkSen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) responded to remarks made by former CDC Director Robert Redfield on Friday during a CNN interview during which Redfield said that he believes the COVID-19 pandemic “escaped” from a lab inside China.

“If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September, October, in Wuhan,” Redfield told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta. “That’s my own view. It’s only an opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now. You know, I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, 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 a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker.”“I am a virologist. I have spent my life in virology,” Redfield continued. “I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and at that moment in time, the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human-to-human transmission. Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonotic (ph) to human, it takes awhile for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human-to-human transmission. I just don’t think this makes biological sense.”

Cotton responded on Twitter by demanding that the Chinese Communist Party be held accountable for what happened, writing: “This was never a conspiracy theory.”

“We may never have direct, conclusive evidence because of the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup,” Cotton added. “But all of the circumstantial evidence points to the Wuhan labs.”As to the veracity of Redfield’s theory, The Daily Wire previously reported:

The former CDC director’s opinion runs counter to that of most other experts, and CNN, reporting on his remarks, called his opinion “a controversial theory without evidence.” Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the lead WHO investigator looking into the COVID-19 outbreak’s origins, has called the lab-leak hypothesis “very unlikely,” reports Reuters.

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT PROVIDED VIA CNN:

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Dr. Robert Redfield, the former CDC director, is speaking out for the first time, saying publicly where he believes the coronavirus that caused the pandemic came from. These extraordinary comments come in a new interview for a CNN documentary airing this weekend.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now.

And, Sanjay, Dr. Redfield says he’s giving his opinion, but I have to say, I think you’re about to break some pretty significant news here.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I mean, this was extraordinary, John, for certain. He is the former CDC director. He spent his entire career as a virologist. I interviewed all six of these doctors sort of in the form of an autopsy, really to sort of meticulously dissect exactly what happened here, really no pre-agenda.

Dr. Redfield, when we sat down to talk, he wanted to start at the beginning, the origins of this virus. What he believed actually transpired.

Take a listen.

[BEGIN VIDEOTAPE]

ROBERT REDFIELD, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: If I was to guess, this virus started transmitting somewhere in September, October, in Wuhan.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: September, October?

REDFIELD: That’s my own view. It’s only an opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now. You know, I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory — you know, 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 a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker.

NARRATOR: It’s also not unusual for that type of research to be occurring in Wuhan. The city is a widely-known center for viral studies in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has experimented extensively with bat coronaviruses.

GUPTA: It is a remarkable conversation I feel like we’re having here because you are the former CDC director, and you were the director at the time this was all happening.

NARRATOR: For the first time, the former CDC director is stating publicly that he believes this pandemic started months earlier than we knew. And that it originated, not at a wet market, but inside a lab in China.

GUPTA: These are two significant things to say, Dr. Redfield.

REDFIELD: That’s not implying any intentionality, you know? It’s my opinion, right? But I am a virologist. I have spent my life in virology. I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human and at that moment in time, the virus came to the human, became one of the most infectious viruses that we know in humanity for human-to-human transmission. Normally, when a pathogen goes from a zoonotic (ph) to human, it takes awhile for it to figure out how to become more and more efficient in human-to-human transmission. I just don’t think this makes biological sense.

GUPTA: So in the lab, do you think that that process of becoming more efficient was happening? Is that what you are suggesting?

REDFIELD: Yeah, let’s just say, I have coronavirus [that I’m working on]. Most of us in the lab [are trying to grow a virus], we try to help make it grow better and better and better and better and better and better so we can do experiments and figure about it. That’s the way I put it together.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA (on camera): It’s a pretty extraordinary conversation. And a little glimpse of what we revealed sort of within these couple of hours. I should point out, the World Health Organization calls the lab leak theory unlikely. And Chinese officials have started increasingly pointing to a multiple origin theory, saying that this pandemic may have started in multiple places, even around the world, including U.S. military labs. That’s unsubstantiated, but that’s sort of the back and forth that’s happening right now.

We still don’t know, a year later, exactly how this pandemic started.

BERMAN: Sanjay, he’s the former CDC director. So when he says it’s just his opinion, it’s not just an opinion.

GUPTA: Right.

BERMAN: The former CDC director sees things and knows things the rest of us don’t see —

CAMEROTA: A life-long expertise.

BERMAN: But only his life’s long expertise, but actually when he was in the U.S. government, seeing things that the rest of us aren’t entitled to. I mean, how much of just an opinion can it be?

GUPTA: That’s exactly right. I mean, he’s talking to people on the ground, not just as counterparts of the China CDC, but we have investigators on the ground in various countries around the world, including China. If you look even at our preparedness and response sort of strategies in the United States, it’s medical and public health. But it’s also intelligence gathering.

So when we’re sitting down and talking to all these people, we’re getting a sort of overall picture, I think, for the first time of what they knew, what they knew at what time, and how they were sort of piecing that together. So, it’s really — and it’s not just intrigue. It’s important to know how this started if you are going to best prepare for a possible future pandemic. To go and — sort from an animal to a human and suddenly become one of the most infectious pathogens we’ve ever seen in humanity simply doesn’t happen very often.

That’s the point that Dr. Redfield was trying to make.


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