Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS today that investigations into the origins of Covid-19 need to be conducted through both a national security lens and a scientific lens.
He said the initial investigation was based on science and an analysis of viral sequences.
“What is lost in this is that there’s a broader mosaic here,” Gottlieb said. “We have other information now that fits into this picture. The science is one piece of information, but there’s a lot of other information that points in the direction that this could have come out of a lab, that we need to have a broader view about the potential risks that this was a lab leak.”
The scientific mindset, he said, looks at the virus, its behavior and its sequence and draws a conclusion.
“A national security assessment looks at that as one piece of evidence, but then looks at the behavior of the Chinese government, looks at the behavior of the lab, looks at other evidence around the lab, including the infections that we now know took place,” he said. “And that changes the overall assessment.”
Gottleib said some virologists are still just looking at the origin of Covid-19 through the lens of what the viral sequence looks like, even though that is just one part of the evidence. He said that's partly why he thinks assessments need to be in the hands of national security investigators and not just the scientific community.