Ex-CDC Director Robert Redfield Says He Received Death Threats From SCIENTISTS After Embracing Wuhan Lab Leak Theory

Robert Redfield

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Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield said he received “death threats” from other scientists for broaching the possibility that Covid-19 leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The former CDC director said the threats came after a March 26 CNN interview, when he told the network, “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.”

Redfield disclosed in a Vanity Fair interview published on Thursday that he “received death threats from fellow scientists” for the comment. “After the interview aired, death threats flooded his inbox,” the publication noted. “The vitriol came not just from strangers who thought he was being racially insensitive but also from prominent scientists, some of whom used to be his friends. One said he should just ‘wither and die.'”

The notion that Covid-19 may have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology was a subject of brief examination by the media in the early part of the pandemic. But media outlets quickly developed a more combative stance on the topic, with organizations including The Washington Post and National Public Radio insisting the theory had been “debunked.” However, last month’s revelation that the U.S. intelligence community learned three of the lab’s scientists became ill with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 in October 2019 — well before China began cooperating with world health officials — sparked renewed interest in the origins of the virus, and prompted President Joe Biden to issue a statement saying he had asked intelligence officials to “redouble” their investigation into the matter.

“I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis,” Redfield lamented in Thursday’s interview. “I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”

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