WHO team on covid origins

August 26, 2021
WHO team on covid origins

We should not even be thinking about closing the book or backing off, but rather ratcheting up the effort.

Microbiologist David Relman, Stanford University, on attempting to find the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • The White House had requested a 90-day review on the origins of the new coronavirus; the 90-day period just ended. According to The Washington Post, the review was inconclusive (the public has yet to receive any summary of the report).
  • Meanwhile, a group of World Health Organization officials penned an editorial on why the efforts to investigate the origins must continue – and the stakes: The window of opportunity for conducting this crucial inquiry is closing fast: any delay will render some of the studies biologically impossible.
  • Why It Matters: No origin for any coronavirus has been identified (there are seven coronaviruses that we've identified that produce a range of severity of illnesses – including SARS-CoV-2, which can lead to the disease COVID-19). Reports continue to focus on a research lab in Wuhan as the site of the first cases of the new virus. The primary reason why identifying the origins matter – especially a lab leak – is to try to figure out a way to prevent the next pandemic.

by Jenna Lee,