Dr. Robert Redfield, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on Wednesday said he has “no doubt” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci funded gain-of-function research that likely resulted in the creation of COVID-19 and its subsequent leak.
The hearing included testimony related to the lab leak theory as a plausible explanation as the origin of COVID-19 and how the theory was shut down early in the pandemic in favor of narratives that COVID-19 had zoogenic — or natural — origins.
The hearing followed the subcommittee’s release of a memo revealing that key NIH figures, including Fauci, helped persuade virologists to write an influential article squelching the theory that COVID-19 may have leaked from a lab and asserting the virus evolved naturally.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last month determined SARS CoV-2 most likely emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China — a theory later endorsed by FBI Director Christopher Wray. These developments helped lead to a Senate vote to declassify U.S. intelligence documents on the origins of COVID-19.
Gain-of-function research ‘caused the greatest pandemic our world has seen’
Some of the witnesses called for gain-of-function research to be slowed down, paused or stopped entirely.
Redfield testified that the “COVID-19 pandemic presents a case study on the potential dangers of such research,” and said, “we should call for a moratorium on gain-of-function research until we have a broader debate and we come to a consensus as a community about the value of [such] research.”