By Jack Phillips
The former director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who has long suspected the hypothesis that COVID-19 leaked from a Chinese laboratory, said that he believes White House adviser Anthony Fauci misled Congress about controversial gain-of-function research.
Dr. Robert Redfield asserted in a new interview that “everyone had to agree to the narrative” pushed by Fauci and other health officials that the virus came from a “wet market” in Wuhan in 2019 and not the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In an interview in early 2021 with CNN, Redfield, a longtime virologist, said the virus emerged from the lab, later sparking death threats against him and his family from prominent scientists.
And Fauci “may have overplayed his hand when he was so aggressive with Congress, saying that he was never involved in funding gain of function research,” said Redfield, referring to the controversial research to genetically alters an organism to enhance certain biological functions including transmissibility. “There’s too much evidence that’s just not true.”
“Fauci knows that he’s funded this research. He also knows that he misled Congress. They’re in protection mode,” he told Paul Thacker’s Disinformation Chronicle newsletter for Substack.
During hearings, Fauci has clashed with several Republican lawmakers and namely, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over whether his agency provided funding to a third-party group to carry out gain-of-function research at the Wuhan laboratory.
In 2021, Fauci told a congressional panel that the National Institutes of Health did not provide money to researchers in Wuhan. However, documents released later that year revealed the agency funded gain-of-function research in China on bat coronaviruses.
“Yes, he clearly misled Congress,” Redfield said. “And then he went over the top taking on Rand Paul and others in an offensive way for a public servant. Tony and I are friends, but we don’t agree on this at all.”
‘Nature of the Beast’
Last summer, when asked about the research, Fauci denied that he lied before Congress.
“Sen. Paul, I have never lied before the Congress and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you are referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function,” Fauci told Paul.
“Sen. Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about,” he added during a July Senate hearing.
In the interview, Redfield also noted that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the early stages of the pandemic made a “decision to put Fauci out in the public,” and it “was never the (Trump) White House blocking us at CDC from publicly addressing the pandemic. It was HHS.”
Over the coming months and now years, Fauci essentially becomes the federal government’s public face on COVID-19. In that span, Fauci has given likely hundreds of interviews to different media outlets, including local broadcasters.
Republicans have criticized him for recommending masking, lockdowns, school closures, and vaccine mandates while simultaneously making dire predictions on the trajectory of COVID-19. Several GOP lawmakers, including Paul, have said they plan on investigating Fauci after the 2022 midterms.
“The whole thing is scientific arrogance. There was an arrogance that they could contain this, that it wouldn’t escape it,” Redfield said. “I worked with the Chinese CDC for many years while in the military and while at the University of Maryland. And viruses get out of labs. That’s just the nature of the beast.”
The National Intelligence Council last year released an assessment on the origins of COIVD-19, reporting that the 17-agency intelligence community “remains divided on the most likely origin” of the virus. Some officials believe that “natural exposure to an infected animal” sparked it, while others believe it was “a laboratory-associated incident,” according to the report.