Uncovering the origins of the virus that sparked a pandemic

Uncovering the origins of the virus that sparked a pandemic

(CNN) Unlocking the mysteries of the exact origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 and launched a global pandemic in March 2020, has become one of the most burning questions in the scientific community. But the effort, like so many other coronavirus-related issues, has become hotly contested, fraught with implications for international relations and, in the United States at least, laced with conspiracy theories and politically motivated posturing. Two competing theories have dominated the discussion since the early days of the pandemic, when the world was first made aware of the newly emergent, "novel" coronavirus. The first, and the one that was accepted as the likely story for a long time, is that the virus came from nature, jumping from its natural reservoir in some type of bat, through a still-unknown intermediary animal and into humans (possibly at or near a "wet market" in Wuhan, China), among whom it then spread like wildfire. The second theory is that it leaked out of a lab in Wuhan, where there are, in fact, laboratories that study and manipulate coronaviruses very similar …
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