Former Trump FDA chief cites growing circumstantial evidence on lab theory

Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the FDA, said Monday that there is growing circumstantial evidence suggesting that COVID-19 may have originated in a lab and not in nature.

The former FDA commissioner responded to The Wall Street Journal’s report that three Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers sought hospital care in November 2019 on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“I think the challenge right now is that the side of the ledger that supports the thesis that this came from a zoonotic source, from an animal source, hasn’t budged,” Gottlieb said. “And the side of the ledger that suggests this could have come out of a lab has continued to grow.”

“People a year ago who said this probably came from nature, it’s really unlikely it came from a lab, maybe a year ago that kind of a statement made a lot of sense because that was the more likely scenario,” he added.

Gottlieb pointed out that the source of COVID-19 has yet to be identified and noted that the origins of related diseases were usually identified at this point following the initial outbreak, adding, “It’s not for lack of trying.”

“I don’t think we’re ever going to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “Because unless we have a whistleblower — assuming it did come out of a lab, and I’m not saying it did, but assuming it did — unless we have a whistleblower or a regime change in China, you’re not going to truly find out.”