Former U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield said Wednesday that American tax dollars funded gain of function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that created COVID.
Speaking to the House Oversight Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Redfield doubled down on his history of disputing the collective narrative that COVID transmitted from a bat to a human and further testified that scientific research indicates that one of the most infectious viruses that impacted nearly seven million lives globally likely leaked from the Chinese Communist Party run-lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
After members of the subcommittee raised concerns about the origins of COVID, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) questioned the likelihood of American tax dollars funding the gain of function research that created the virus.
“I think it did,” Redfield said. “Not only from [National Institute of Health] but from the State Department, USAID, and from [Department of Defense].”
Dr. Robert Redfield: “There’s No Doubt That NIH Funded Gain-of-Function Research”
Ms. Malliotakis: “Is it likely that American tax dollars funded the gain-of-function research that created this virus?”
Dr. Redfield: “I think it did — not only from NIH but from the State… https://t.co/zLrT8CjFCZ pic.twitter.com/OqsTsb1hFg
— The Vigilant Fox 🦊 (@VigilantFox) March 8, 2023
House Republicans scheduled the hearing after U.S. Energy Department officials revised a document that judged with “low confidence” that the virus had leaked from a Chinese laboratory.
New classified intelligence recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress showed Energy Department officials shifted their assessment of the pandemic’s origins in an updated 2021 report by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’s office.
The updated classified report also affirms the view that COVID did not stem from a biological weapons program. A lack of a definitive animal source has led researchers and U.S. officials to suspect a leak from Wuhan’s assemblage of laboratories.
The subcommittee also pushed a new memo Sunday claiming new evidence suggests National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci “prompted the drafting” of “Proximal Origin” to disprove the lab leak theory, which Redfield dismissed as an “inaccurate paper” created to rally behind a constructed narrative the virus’ genesis emerged from a wet market in Wuhan.
The evidence reviewed by the GOP-led Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic members shows Fauci and at least 12 other scientists, including former National Institute of Health director Dr. Francis Collins, were first warned the virus possibly leaked from a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on a conference call during the early days of the pandemic.
Redfield said he believes Fauci and Collins intentionally excluded him from conference calls with other health officials to discuss the virus’s origins.
“I was quite upset as the CDC director that I was excluded in those discussions,” he said. “Why would they do this? Because I had a different point of view, and I was told they made a decision that they would keep this confidential.”
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Fauci dismissed Redfield’s accusation to Politico as “completely untrue.”
“No one excluded anyone,” he told POLITICO after the hearing, which he did not attend. “And the idea of saying that he was not wanted there because he had a different opinion … there were several people on the call who had the opinion that it might have been an engineered virus.”
Former President Donald Trump appointed Dr. Redfield as the CDC director in 2018 until stepping down from the position in 2021 when President Joe Biden ushered in a new administration.