• Pandemic originsReport on COVID Origins Highlights Clues to Animal-Human Jump

    The international team that traveled to Wuhan, China, to investigate the source of SARS-CoV-2 published its full findings Monday, which cover four possibilities, but the experts say a jump to humans from an intermediate animal carrier is the likeliest scenario based on promising clues. Release of the findings, however, prompted high-level calls for more transparency from China, including from the WHO’s director-general.

  • Pandemic originsU.S. Leads Group of 14 Countries Casting Doubt over WHO Virus Origin Report

    The U.S. and thirteen other countries have lamented the lack of access given to WHO experts during an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. The U.S.-led group expressed skepticism over the investigation, saying it lacked the data and samples required. China has accused opponents of “politicizing the issue.”

  • PandemicWorld Leaders Call for Treaty to Prepare for Next Pandemic

    COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic. Leaders from 23 countries, the World Health Organization and the EU called for a new international treaty to better prepare for future pandemics in an op-ed published on Tuesday.

  • PandemicPandemic Apologies and Defiance: Europe’s Leaders Increasingly Rattled

    By Jamie Dettmer

    European leaders are handling rising public frustration, economic distress and mounting coronavirus case numbers in different ways, with most showing the strain of dealing with a yearlong pandemic, say analysts and commentators, who add that the leaders seem to be rattled by a third wave of infections sweeping the continent.

  • PandemicScientists Chasing Origins of COVID-19 Add Southeast Asia to Search

    By Zsombor Peter

    Scientists hunting the origins of the virus behind COVID-19 and clues for how to prevent the next pandemic say a growing body of evidence argues for expanding the search beyond China into Southeast Asia. The pathogen’s closest known relative, sharing some 96% of its genome, is another coronavirus found early last year in the southern province of Yunnan. But a spate of recent studies has found more viruses nearly as similar to SARS-CoV-2 as the one in Yunnan further afield, in Thailand and Cambodia. 

  • PandemicWhy Certain Lifestyles and Interests May Have Influenced COVID-19 Decision-Making More than Others

    By Zac Greene and Maarja Luhiste

    Although little studied, U.K. cabinet members’ lived experiences and interests likely impact the decisions they make. Certain such experiences have probably been better represented in COVID-19 decisions than others due to the profile of prominent politicians. 

  • PrivacyNew Tool Reveals Security and Privacy Issues with Contact Tracing Apps

    Researchers have developed a tool to identify security and privacy risks associated with Covid-19 contact tracing apps. COVIDGuardian, the first automated security and privacy assessment tool, tests contact tracing apps for potential threats such as malware, embedded trackers and private information leakage.

  • DisinformationU.S. Accuses Russia of Spreading Disinformation About Western COVID Vaccines

    The United States has accused Russian intelligence agencies of spreading disinformation about Western vaccines against the coronavirus in an attempt to undermine global confidence in their safety. The State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which monitors foreign disinformation efforts, told the Wall Street Journal that four websites it claims are associated with Russian intelligence have been publishing articles questioning the efficacy of the vaccines and raising questions about their side effects.

  • PandemicWHO Cancels Interim Report on China COVID Investigation

    The World Health Organization (WHO) investigators who recently visited China to determine the origins of the emergence of the COVID-19 virus will not release a promised interim report of their findings. the WHO team decided not to release its interim account “amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington.” Another international group of scientists has called for the WHO to conduct a new inquiry into COVID’s origins.

  • Investigating epidemicsWe Need a Global Outbreak Investigation Team: Experts

    The inconclusive WHO report about the origins of the COVID-19 virus, and the deference the investigative team showed China and the narrative China was interested in advancing, have led experts to question whether WHO is the right body to investigate the origins of epidemic outbreaks. The WHO can only enter member countries and engage in research there on those countries’ terms, and it has no real powers of enforcement. Different ideas are proposed as alternatives to the investigative function of the WHO.

  • Pandemic1918 Pandemic Second Wave Had Fatal Consequences

    In the event of a pandemic, delayed reactions and a decentralized approach by the authorities at the start of a follow-up wave can lead to longer-lasting, more severe and more fatal consequences, researchers have found. The researchers compared the Spanish flu of 1918 and 1919 in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, with the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

  • EbolaGuinea Reports Deadly Ebola Outbreak as Vaccination Begins in DRC

    Health officials in Guinea yesterday reported an Ebola outbreak in the southeast, marking the first reappearance of the virus in the country since West Africa’s massive outbreak that spanned 2014 to 2016. Also, another illness was confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is battling a flare-up in North Kivu province, the epicenter of a 2-year outbreak—the world’s second largest—that was declared over in June of 2020.

  • CoronavirusChina Probe: SARS-CoV-2 Jump from Go-Between Host Most Likely Scenario

    By Lisa Schnirring

    Representatives from China and an international joint mission team led by the World Health Organization (WHO) Monday in Wuhan detailed the results of a 2-week probe into the zoonotic source of the outbreaks, which didn’t reveal a definitive source but did shed new light on the events. At the nearly 3-hour briefing, officials laid out four main theories, some of them less likely possibilities.

  • CoronavirusHow China Is Controlling the COVID Origins Narrative — Silencing Critics and Locking Up Dissenters

    By John Garrick and Yan Bennett

    Just over a year has gone by since the novel coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the world still has many questions about where and how it originated. The Chinese government has greatly restrained any attempts to investigate the origins of COVID-19 — both internally and by foreign experts — while at the same time advocating alternate theories that the pandemic originated elsewhere. The top leadership sees control over this narrative as vital to its hold over the Chinese population and the boosting of its international reputation.

  • PandemicClimate Change May Have Driven the Emergence of SARS-CoV-2

    Global greenhouse gas emissions over the last century have made southern China a hotspot for bat-borne coronaviruses, by driving growth of forest habitat favored by bats.