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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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As the world’s populations continue to become sickened by, and succumb to, the disease from the novel coronavirus, scientists and public health professionals still have no idea where the virus first came from.
Researchers are racing against time to produce medicines and vaccines against the virus and the COVID-19 disease, but they are still not sure of the origins of the virus, other than it appears to have emerged first in China.
There have been more than 2.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 180,000.
In the United States, there have been more than 865,000 reported cases of COVID-19, including 48,816, deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“You know, any time we have a new virus, it’s important to figure out its origins. And I think we’re still a long way from figuring it out. It took us decades to figure out HIV and Ebola,” said Dr Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator. “It’s going to take us a while to really map and trace this particular virus, map it through its experience in humans, and get the scientific evidence of where this virus originated. We know it originated in China. We just don’t know specifically how and where.”
Despite much speculation that the virus somehow emerged from a so-called “wet market” in the Wuhan area of China, author and TV pundit Gordon Chang believes otherwise, trafficking in an unproven “biolab” origin conspiracy theory which has become prevalent among some on the right.
“There is fish, there’s all sorts of animals. What they do is sell them and sometimes slaughter them on site. That has created the unhygienic conditions,” Chang, who worked as an attorney in Hong Kong and mainland China for US firms prior to his media career, said of the wet markets. “One thing we know is that China opened up these wet markets again at the end of March which is a real indication that China knows the coronavirus didn’t come from the wet markets, it came from the biosafety lab which everyone has been talking about including the president of the United States. We know this is from that lab.”
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