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CNN’s Sanjay Gupta Expresses Support for Wuhan Lab Outbreak Theory

In a recent Podcast with Mediate, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta went against the popular opinion of his CNN colleagues, by supporting former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield’s opinion that the SARS-CoV-2 most likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. CNN commentators disapproved of Redfield’s opinion, insisting his theory lacked evidence, but Gupta felt that Redfield had a sound perspective.

Back in February, Gupta had a conversation, later aired on CNN, in which Redfield explained his expert opinion. He said that it is not uncommon for scientists who work in virology labs to become infected with viruses. Emphasizing that he was not making the accusation that the virus was spread intentionally, he said he believed that the Wuhan lab leak was the most likely theory. He also suggested that there may have been cases of the virus as early as September or October. 

“I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory… escaped. Other people don’t believe that, that’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out,” Redfield said in the CNN interview. 

“He’s an experienced virologist. 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,” Gupta said on the Mediate Podcast. “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.”

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. Dr. Gupta agrees with former CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield’s opinion that the SARS-CoV-2 most likely came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Image: NIAID via Flickr /CC02.0

Gupta explained how the claim that the virus came from the seafood market in Wuhan was flawed, because many people who got infected had never been there. Regarding the theory of the Wuhan Lab as the origin, he reasoned, “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.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently called for further studies into the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, since their investigation team was unable to refute the hypothesis that the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology even after visiting Wuhan. Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to be criticized for a lack of transparency. This has become increasingly more glaring to the rest of the world through things like the Uyghur genocide, where Western reporters are restricted from investigating re-education and labour camps. 

“As far as WHO is concerned, all hypotheses remain on the table. This report is a very important beginning, but it is not the end. We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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  • David Wagner is a University of Manitoba graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion in Sociology. He is interested in the psychology of religious and ideological belief and the relationship between religions and the state in totalitarian countries.

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