A newly-unredacted email from Dr. Anthony Fauci suggesting the COVID-19 pandemic may have been grounded in gain-of-function research essentially reveals his public statements from then on were an “aggressive attempt” to hide the truth, former CDC Director Robert Redfield said Monday.
Redfield, who served at the same time as Fauci during the Trump administration, said the news further backs up his longstanding belief the coronavirus originated from a laboratory and not a wet-market or zoonotic specimen.
“I think, it’s very disheartening and very disappointing. And I’ve said before that I’m very disappointed in the leadership that both [then-NIH Director Francis] Collins and Fauci provided in not fostering a rigorous, aggressive, transparent scientific debate about what is really very reasonable scientific evidence that did point at this virus,” Redfield told “The Story.”
“Now you have, in his own words, that one — he recognizes the abnormality of the furin-cleavage site being problematic – and he recognizes that, in fact, contrary to some of his statements, that there was actual gain of function research going on in that laboratory.”
Redfield said he has long been loathe to use the term “cover-up” in regard to Fauci and Collins’ behavior, but that the message — which said “mutations in the virus that would have been most unusual to have evolved naturally in bats” and arose “suspicion that this mutation was intentionally inserted” – makes the truth pretty clear.
“I think we have to really recognize that there was a real attempt by the leadership of NIH and some of the major scientists across the world to cover up the fact that this virus was, in fact, a consequence of science,” he added.
Fauci — who often sparred with or contradicted other medical experts like Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and frequent Fox News guest Dr. Jay Bhattacharya – retired from his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the end of 2022, and was replaced in an acting capacity by immunologist Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, the father of Rep. Jacob Auchincloss, D-Mass.
Fauci began his career at NIH in 1968 and was nominated to lead NIAID in 1984 by former President Ronald Reagan, where he advised the response to the AIDS epidemic.
Often criticized by the right for his recommendations and public statements during COVID, he rebuffed claims of bias in a 2022 interview with the New York Times, saying his primary responsibility is to the American public, and that “I don’t serve a political party. I’m completely nonpolitical.”
On “The Story,” Redfield said Fauci was, by contrast, “definitely not transparent” about the possibility that COVID originated in a lab and that he orchestrated an “aggressive attempt to stifle any discussion of the possibility that there was reasonable belief behind the scientific hypothesis that I had, which was that this virus evolved in the laboratory as a consequence of gain-of-function scientific experiments.”