- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2021

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, said “there’s reason to suspect” the coronavirus escaped accidentally from a Chinese lab, supporting comments from former CDC Director Robert Redfield that critics have dismissed as a conspiracy theory.

Dr. Gupta, a neurosurgeon, recently interviewed Dr. Redfield for a CNN special in which the former Trump administration official said it was his personal opinion that “the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory,” instead of a wet market as China has claimed.

Dr. Redfield‘s comments came after a World Health Organization investigation concluded in March that it was “extremely unlikely” the virus had leaked from Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Dr. Gupta, however, said Dr. Redfield‘s opinion was an “informed” one that could be supported “just from an Occam’s razor standpoint.”

“He’s an experienced virologist,” Dr. Gupta said on Mediaite’s “The Interview” podcast Thursday. “He was also head of the CDC at the time this was happening, which means that in addition to everything that we know, he had access to raw data and raw intelligence that was coming out of China.

“My point is that it’s a much more informed sort of thing for him to be saying than for anybody who may have expertise in virology, because he has a lot more knowledge and information that he has that maybe he can’t share, but is informing his opinion,” he said, adding, “It’s still an opinion.”

Dr. Gupta said he gave Dr. Redfield multiple opportunities during the March 26 interview to clarify his remarks, but that he “really was quite adamant that this was the origin of the virus.”

“I was not as shocked by what he said as the fact that he said it,” Dr. Gupta said. “There’s reason to suspect that this is the origin of the virus. It’s a big virology lab right in Wuhan that happened to be studying bat coronaviruses. Just from an Occam’s razor standpoint, finding the simplest explanation, it would make sense.”

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