WUHAN, China — More than a year after a “mysterious pneumonia” sickened workers at a seafood market in China, scientists are still gathering clues about where SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — emerged from.
“It’s critical to understand where this virus came from, so that we can understand how to stop future outbreaks going forward,” said Anne Rimoin, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UCLA.
The investigation into the virus’ origins is crucial for public health and science reasons, but it has also sparked tension among world powers, especially between the United States and China, whose leaders have accused one another of lack of transparency and xenophobia during the pandemic.
“It’s not about finger-pointing — it’s just about understanding it, so we know how to do better in the future,” Rimoin said.
To that end, on Jan. 14, 2021, the World Health Organization deployed a group of 17 international …