Democrats Owe Redfield an Apology

Ferguson, Franchot Among Democrats who demanded Hogan Medical Advisor Resign

Back in March former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, a medical advisor to Governor Larry Hogan, said he thought that it was plausible that the COVID-19 virus escaped from a lab:

Redfield said his “personal opinion” was that it’s unlikely one of the most infectious viruses for humans leaped from bats to people at a wet market, and it seemed more plausible to him the virus was developed in a laboratory in China.

As typical of Democrats in Maryland, the line of trying to dunk on Larry Hogan through a surrogate began, with a cavalcade of Democrats lining up to take shots at Hogan and Redfield

Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) said Redfield should resign from the advisory role he took with the Hogan administrationgovernor earlier this month.

Like Senate President Bill Ferguson:

“Dr. Redfield’s comments were inappropriate, unacceptable and beyond unfortunate,” Ferguson said. “A comment like this on national news is just not okay, and I am hopeful that the governor will ask Dr. Redfield to either retract or walk back that statement or clarify that statement. And if not, I hope the governor does ask him to step away.”

Like Senator Susan Lee:

“Words matter,” said Sen. Susan C. Lee (D-Montgomery). “When persons in high office. . . . make statements like this . . . it creates a toxic, dangerous and volatile climate that may subject us to violent attacks and crimes.”

Like Senator Clarence Lam:

Sen. Clarence K. Lam (D-Howard) said Redfield’s comments are the type of “divisive rhetoric” that has led to an increase in hate crimes against Asians both across the country.

Like Speaker Adrienne Jones

House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) joined Ferguson in criticizing Redfield’s remarks. “I would hope that the Administration would focus on getting shots in people’s arms and our economy reopened — not spreading conspiracy theories that fuel hate,” she said in a statement.

Like Comptroller Peter Franchot:

“His comments are especially concerning and reckless as hate crimes and bigotry against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have skyrocketed over the last year,” Franchot said. “There is no scientific evidence supporting his theory on COVID-19′s origination or spread.

“I would urge you and the Administration to sever all ties to Dr. Redfield and make policy decisions based on the advice of medical professionals and science.”

All of those Democrats jumped up and down accusing Redfield not just of being wrong, but of being a racist. Mind you, Redfield’s expressed opinion was that the virus may have been developed at a lab and accidentally released. Not that it was a bioweapon, not that it was an intentional release, just that it was a release.

For the last year, the idea of a “lab leak” theory has been discredited as nothing more than conspiracy mongering, lumping in the idea of a generic lab leak with more sinister plots of a bioweapon being released.

But now, well more than a year into this, the idea that COVID came from an accidental lab leak has grown a lot of hair, with even Dr. Anthony Fauci admitting that he is “not convinced” that COVID-19 was developed naturally.

The rush to judgment created a lot of sturm und drang about the origins of the virus and, like everything else, your position on COVID’s natural vis-a-vis unnatural origins has become political. I don’t even know what my opinion is on the matter, because I’m not convinced either way.

But what is real is the fact that there are credible people who believe that COVID was created in a lab. And there often have been. A point that came up at the time that the Democrats were dunking on Redfield.

The racial angle was, generally speaking, a media creation all along. Matthew Yglesisas, hardly a right-winger, called it a “fiasco” and “a huge fuckup, with perhaps not-so-huge policy stakes.” (Recommend you read the whole Yglesias piece, something I thought I would never type). While certainly there were people on the fringes that believed in a Chinese bioweapon and made a racial case out of it, that certainly wasn’t what Robert Redfield was doing. The Democrats damn well knew that at the time, and they damn well know it now.

With the lab-created virus theory going mainstream, it’s time that the Democrats come clean and admit their mistake. Every single one of these Democrats listed, Bill Ferguson, Adrienne Jones, Peter Franchot, Clarence Lam, Susan Lee, owe Robert Redfield an apology. Their rogue carelessness sullied and slandered a man’s reputation. That genie cannot go back in the bottle, but at least these reckless Democrats should have the political courage to admit their mistake and offer their apologies to Redfield.