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Four Things I Want To Know About the Origin of COVID

A recent article in the academic journal Science has attracted attention for its detailed modeling of the initial post-emergence of the virus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19. The authors of this study have touted it as ending the debate about the origins of the novel coronavirus, favoring a zoonosis, or a jump from an animal host to humans without any steps in between.

As important as it is to understand the early dynamics of COVID in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus did not spontaneously generate itself in market stalls in Wuhan, nor does the Science article suggest otherwise. Here are four epidemiological (not virological, not science-political) questions that still deserve answers.

First, from what animal species did SARS-CoV-2 make the jump to humans? Yes, the coronavirus was found in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. Yes, much can be said about its spread there. Eventually, it spread the world over, many times.