Former head of CDC: coronavirus escaped from laboratory in Wuhan

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Robert Redfield’s views coincide with those of other senior Trump administration officials.

Robert Redfield, who headed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during Donald Trump’s presidency, suggested that the coronavirus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic probably “escaped” from a laboratory in Wuhan. This theory, which has exacerbated tensions between China and Western countries, is rejected by many epidemiologists.

Redfield spoke about his suggestion in an interview with CNN: “It happens that respiratory pathogens, which were worked within the laboratory, infect a laboratory employee.”

Redfield added that he considered it unlikely that bats were the cause of the disease – as many experts believe – “as it is one of the most easily transmitted viruses from person to person.” He added that he does not claim that the virus was deliberately “released” from the laboratory. Redfield’s opinion coincides with the position of other high-ranking representatives of the Trump administration.

Anthony Fauci, an epidemiologist who worked in the Trump administration and now in the Biden administration, who was asked to comment on Redfield’s statement, said most experts disagree with the theory.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing a report on the origins of the coronavirus. In February, a WHO spokesman said bats remain a possible source and ruled out the possibility of a leak from the laboratory.