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The Hunt for COVID-19 Origins Reignites Debate About Risky Research

08feb5:30 pm6:30 pmThe Hunt for COVID-19 Origins Reignites Debate About Risky Research

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Event Details

The Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University invites you to join Gerald W Parker, DVM, PhD as he discusses “The Hunt for COVID-19 Origins Reignites Debate About Risky Research” on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. CT at the George Bush Presidential Library & Museum. This is an in-person only event, virtual and a recording will not be available. 


The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, China, reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology in Wuhan, Hubei Province on December 31, 2019. The new illness was subsequently described as COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The first cases of COVID -19 occurred much earlier, likely sometime between September to no later than mid-November 2019. More than three years later, we are unable to determine the time, place, and pathway of how SARS-CoV-2 caused the first human infection(s) that led to sustained human-to-human transmission and the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are two-prevailing and plausible hypothesis; 1) Natural zoonotic spillover from a bat, or intermediate animal, to a human, or 2) Unnatural research associated incident. As time goes by, a natural zoonotic spillover appears less likely and unnatural research associated incident more likely.

The speaker will provide opening remarks and allow ample opportunity for questions to highlight what is known and not known about COVID-19 origins and provide insights into the debate about controversial risky research that began over a decade ago. Because SARS-CoV-2 may have emerged unnaturally as a result of a research related incident, the debate about risky research is no longer hypothetical.




Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs Texas A&M University 4220 TAMU College Station, Texas 77843-4220

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