The virus that causes COVID-19 disrupted nearly every facet of life for people around the world. The best way to ensure we are prepared for the next pandemic is to understand where the current one started, but that question has become bogged down in geopolitics and conspiracy theories. Depending on who you ask, the virus either spread naturally from an animal host, was released from a Chinese lab, or didn’t originate in China at all.
To shed light on this crucial issue, we go back to the science. What evidence do we have about COVID-19’s origins? What questions still need answering? And how is politics impacting what is, at heart, a scientific investigation?
On July 15, Dr. Maciej Boni; an associate professor of biology at Penn State University’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics; Dr. Gigi Gronvall, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Dr. Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and a professor and director of global health studies at Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations, took part in a live webinar to shed light on what we know – and what we don’t know – about the origins on COVID-19.