THE ex-boss of the CDC claims he was sent death threats by fellow scientists after he said Covid "originated in and escaped from" a Wuhan lab.
Robert Redfield, who directed the public health agency under Donald Trump, says he was "threatened and ostracized" by people he even considered friends after airing his opinion in March.
The virologist told CNN that month that he believes the virus was spreading as early as September 2019.
The suggestion that Covid escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology has been widely condemned by scientists throughout the pandemic, however Redfield said he believes the theory carries weight.
He told CNN in March: "I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped.
"Other people don't believe that. That's fine. Science will eventually figure it out.
"It's not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect the laboratory worker."
Redfield went on to stress that it was just his opinion, but emphasized: "I am a virologist, I have spent my life in virology."
He also added that he believes any release was an accident, rather than intentional.
But his comments sparked fury and lead to backlash from other scientists, with some even sending death threats, Redfield says.
"I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis," he told Vanity Fair.
"I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science."
According to the article, "death threats flooded his inbox" from both strangers and scientists alike – some he even considered friends.
One person said he should "wither and die", the outlet reports.
Most scientists do not believe the virus leaked from the Wuhan site, and the lab itself has categorically denied the claims.
The explanation was at first considered to be a conspiracy theory that was pushed by the far-right to blame China for the pandemic.
But that changed on May 26 when President Joe Biden sensationally announced a review of the pandemic "lab leak" theory after allegedly shutting down a previous probe into its origins.
It comes as Anthony Fauci finally acknowledged the "lab-made" Covid theory may have some weight as top Republicans call for him to be ousted after thousands of his emails were leaked.
The top doc spoke out on Thursday after being blasted by Senator Rand Paul and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene when his correspondence came to light, while Candace Owens wants him "tried and imprisoned."
“I have always said, and will say today … I still believe the most likely origin is from an animal species to a human," he said on CNN.
"But I keep an absolutely open mind, that if there may be other origins of that there may be another reason, it could have been a lab leak."
Meanwhile, the former head of MI6 has warned any evidence that the Covid pandemic was caused by a lab leak has probably been destroyed by China.
Sir Richard Dearlove believes the world may never be able to prove the theory if relevant data from the Wuhan Institute of Virology has disappeared.
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