Former CDC Director Robert Redfield Robert Redfield says he received death threats from other scientists this past spring when he publicly stated that he feels that it’s likely that coronavirus accidentally leaked from a Wuhan lab. In an in-depth Vanity Fair investigation of the tense battle over the origins of COVID-19 currently dividing the U.S. government and scientific community, Redfield lamented the over-the-top “vitriol” he’d received from some of his colleagues.
“I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis. I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science,” he said about the reaction to his comments during a CNN special in March. Noting it was his own personal opinion, Redfield told CNN at the time he felt the virus “escaped” a lab but didn’t think it was intentional, adding that others—such as Dr. Anthony Fauci—felt it developed in nature.
According to Vanity Fair, “death threats flooded his inbox” from “prominent scientists,” some of whom Redfield said were once his friends. He added that one of them told him to just “wither and die.” Following revelations last month that three Wuhan lab scientists were hospitalized with coronavirus-like symptoms in October 2019, President Joe Biden called on the intelligence community to “redouble” its investigation into the virus’s origins.