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State Department staffers were warned against investigating the origin of COVID-19 because it could “open a can of worms,” a former official revealed in a bombshell report Thursday.
Thomas DiNanno, former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, also told Vanity Fair that the warning “smelled like a cover-up.”
“I wasn’t going to be part of it,” he said.
Vanity Fair cited a five-page, Jan. 9 memo in which DiNanno outlined “apprehension and contempt” from State Department technical staff and a “complete lack of responses to briefings and presentations.”
The magazine also said a total of four ex-State Department officials described being warned against probing the “lab-leak” theory of the pandemic and repeatedly advised not to open up a “Pandora’s box.”
Meanwhile, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield also told Vanity Fair that he got death threats for publicly supporting the notion that the coronavirus escaped from a Chinese lab.
Redfield said leading scientists were among those who barraged him with angry emails following a March 26 appearance on CNN during which he endorsed the “lab leak” theory for the COVID-19 pandemic.
One email reportedly said that Redfield — a 20-year veteran of the US Army Medical Corps who co-founded the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology — should “wither and die.”
“I was threatened and ostracized because I proposed another hypothesis,” Redfield told Vanity Fair.
“I expected it from politicians. I didn’t expect it from science.”
During the CNN appearance, Redfield — who led the CDC amid the height of the pandemic — said, “I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan was from a laboratory — escaped.”
“Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out,” he added.
CNN later televised additional remarks from Redfield’s interview in which he said China was “not being transparent” about the origins of the virus.
“I could use the word ‘cover-up,’ but I don’t know that so I’m not going to speculate that,” he said.
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