Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert RedfieldRobert RedfieldWHO report says transmission from animal is most likely source of coronavirus: report Redfield says he thinks COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan in September or October Blinken suggests US won’t take punitive action on China over COVID-19 MORE said in an interview that aired Sunday that he thinks COVID-19 began spreading in Wuhan in September or October of 2019.
“If I was to guess this virus started transmitting somewhere in September, October in Wuhan,” Redfield told Sanjay Gupta for a CNN special report.
“That’s my own view,” he added. “It’s only an opinion. I’m allowed to have opinions now.”
The former CDC director went on to say that he thinks COVID-19 emerged from a lab in China, a theory a World Health Organization official has called “extremely unlikely.”
“It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect a laboratory worker,” Redfield told CNN.
Redfield added he didn’t believe it made “biological sense” that the virus could spread so easily between humans if it originally came from an animal, saying “I do not believe this somehow came from a bat to a human.”
“Science will eventually figure it out,” he added.
A portion of Redfield’s interview, including his beliefs that the virus originated in a Chinese lab, aired on Friday ahead of the special report.
The government in Wuhan, China, first reported cases of pneumonia from an unknown cause on New Year’s Eve 2019 before officials identified the novel coronavirus.
The U.S. first confirmed a COVID-19 case on Jan. 20 in Washington state, and travel was restricted from China 11 days later.