Ex-CDC Chief: Coronavirus Likely Came From China Lab

A former top U.S. health official says he thinks the coronavirus that became a worldwide pandemic "escaped" from a lab in Wuhan, China and started circulating as early as September 2019.

Robert Redfield, who led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the first year of COVID-19, said he believes the Wuhan lab theory is more likely than those that suggest the virus transferred from animals to humans, as well as those that suggest that it started in a live-animal market.

“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,” Redfield said in an interview with CNN. “It takes a while 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.”

The World Health Organization has indicated the coronavirus first came about in December 2019, about three months later than the timeframe offered by Redfield. But the WHO has been inconsistent with its theories and date from the start, leading former President Donald Trump to cast it aside.

Redfield isn't the first to surmise that COVID-19 began in a China lab, though he didn't go as far as to say it was released on purpose. But according to Redfield, it made its way out that lab somehow.

“Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine," he said. "Science will eventually figure it out.”