3. Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Trump, said he believes the novel coronavirus began transmitting in the fall of 2019 and may have originated in a lab in China.
Redfield cited no evidence. The "lab leak" theory has been cited in pandemic conspiracies, including in statements from Trump.
"I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely aetiology 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," Redfield said, noting that this may not have been intentional.
A World Health Organization team is exploring the origins of the virus in Wuhan, China, and has noted that it is "extremely unlikely" that a lab-related incident spurred the global pandemic.
Meanwhile, Chinese officials and state media have promoted an unsubstantiated, so-called "multiple-origin" theory, suggesting the pandemic may have started in various locations around the world, even a US military lab.
Redfield said there could have been a significant benefit to having US investigators on the ground in China to study the coronavirus early in the pandemic.
"I think we could have learned very quickly that we're dealing with a different beast than the one that everyone had sold us," Redfield said.
"A year after this pathogen started, we're now having a critical analysis of where it came from by scientists," he added. "That just seems a little delayed. I mean, it seems to me that some of the information is people are not being transparent about it. I could use the word 'cover up,' but I don't know that so I'm not going to speculate that."
China has denied any cover up.
"They sold us: 'This is like SARS.' 'This is like flu.' Well, SARS and flu, you can go after symptomatic case findings because they cause symptomatic disease," Redfield said. "Unfortunately, this virus, probably a majority of its transmission is in the non-symptomatic stage."
Fauci also revealed that he "always had skepticism" about the Covid-19 data being reported out of China.
"I always had skepticism about it because of what we went through with SARS," Fauci said
"China was saying, 'Oh it's flu, it's flu.' And then the next thing you know, SARS was all over the world -- in Canada, in Australia, all over the place," he added. "So, they were not very transparent in the past. It wasn't outright lying. They just didn't give you all the information.