The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), virologist Robert Redfield, said that gain-of-function studies were not worth the risk during a House hearing on the origins of COVID-19.
Redfield appeared on a panel Wednesday before the House Select Committee on the Origins of COVID, where he blasted the controversial research method, saying he is not aware of any treatments or “life-saving vaccines” that have ever been created.
“No, on the contrary, I think it probably caused the biggest pandemic our world has ever seen,” Redfield told committee Chairman Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, who asked if gain-of-function research could have stopped a pandemic.
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Former CDC Director Robert Redfield appeared on a Wednesday panel before the House Select Committee on the Origins of COVID, where he condemned the controversial research method, when asked that the research method, as far as he knows, has not produced a treatment or “life-saving vaccine.” Commission Chairman Brad Wenstrup, Ohio. (Getty Images)
Redfield also said no when Wenstrup asked if he thought there was any “tangible benefit” to the gain-of-function research.
The former CDC director also emphasized that his fellow scientists working on the study are “people of good faith” who “truly believe” the research will bring benefits.
“I personally don’t, but I want to emphasize, I think the men and women who support it are people of good faith who really believe it will bring potential benefit,” Redfield said.
“I don’t agree with that assessment,” he added.
Redfield also said that he does not see gain-of-function research as worth the risk, but that the decision to engage in research should not be left to scientists “alone”, calling for a “broader societal discussion” on the issue.
The former CDC director also said he “absolutely” believed the Wuhan Institute of Virology was conducting gain-of-function research.
Redfield also said at the hearing that he told former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci in 2020 that he didn’t think natural shedding — a virus traveling from animals or plants to humans — was “scientifically plausible” in origin. They distanced themselves from conversations about COVID-19 and the virus.
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“They told me they wanted one narrative and I had a different point of view,” Redfield said.
Redfield also pointed to evidence disputing the wet market origin theory of COVID-19 in China, saying “we now know there were infections going back to September 2019.”
Houston Keene is a political writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Houston.Keene@Fox.com and on Twitter: @HoustonKeene