Former FDA Commissioner Says Lab Leaks “Happen All the Time”

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"Commissioner Gottlieb at the National Press Club" (United States government work) by The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Amidst the rising concern as to the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, made shocking remarks saying that lab leaks occur “all the time.” 

In his appearance on CBS “Face the Nation, Gottlieb discussed his concerns regarding the safety protocols in research laboratories in America and abroad. The former commissioner also mentioned that the resolution of where the pandemic originated is essential to preventing the same outbreaks from happening in the future. 

Gottlieb: Lab leaks “happen all the time”

Gottlieb said that these types of lab leaks actually “happen all the time.” Adding that it happens even in the U.S., the former commissioner also revealed that the U.S. had its share of mishaps.

It also happened in China, citing the last six outbreaks of SARS-1, which also originated in labs. He added that this includes the previous outbreak, which was also extensive; although, China originally tried not to reveal the fact it came out of a lab.

Meanwhile, calls for further inquiry about the origins of the pandemic intensified in the past few days. This started after the report by The Wall Street Journal published earlier this month.

“BFN Project Leader Nicolas Abatzoglou`s Laboratory” (CC BY 2.0) by BiofuelNet Canada

According to the report, three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology showed severe symptoms consistent with coronavirus. This happened in late 2019. Due to the severity of the symptoms, they were brought to the hospital for medical treatment. 

On the other hand, President Biden said that the intelligence community still hasn’t arrived at conclusive results. They are still looking at whether the pandemic started naturally or as the result of a lab leak. 

Within the next few months, officials will provide an update as to their conclusion. This is concerning Biden’s commitment to making any crucial findings from the inquiry available to the public. 

Gottlieb: lab safety, a matter of national security

On the other hand, the former commissioner of FDA called on Biden officials to look at the pandemic and laboratory safety. He said that it is a matter of national security, after the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gottlieb stated that it is essential to recognize the possibility is that the virus came out of a lab. This would help create more international attention as to how countries could make better inventories, particularly those that involve laboratory research. 

The former FDA commissioner also added this move would also help the international community look into what these labs are doing. It will also provide better security and ensure that the laboratories are adequately built.

Gottlieb added that we also need to look at public health from the perspective of national security. He then said that the COVID-19 pandemic hurt the United States more than any other country.