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Why a credible investigation is needed to determine the origin of COVID-19

Dr Filippa Lentzos, of the Departments of Global Health and Social Medicine and War Studies, says there is no evidence the virus was man-made.

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Current evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from a natural ‘spillover’ event, but there is little evidence about where that spillover event took place, said Dr Filippa Lentzos, of the Departments of Global Health and Social Medicine and War Studies.

“There certainly is a possibility that the pandemic could be the result of safety lapses in the course of basic scientific research” Dr Lentzos told Channel 4 news. “But there’s no evidence of this being a manufactured virus,” she added. In a recent Channel 4 report on the origins of the virus, she pointed out there is no obvious motive nor any genetic evidence suggesting it was man-made.

At the World Health Assembly meeting held 18-19 May 2020, the international community agreed to a WHO-led investigation into the pandemic’s origins. Writing in The Bulletin, as well as in a wide-range of international and UK media, Dr Lentzos said a genuine effort to query origins will need to involve not just a scientific investigation, but also a forensic investigation.

 

 

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Filippa Lentzos

Filippa Lentzos

Senior Research Fellow