China CDC Director on COVID-19: “ . . . the market is just another victim. The virus existed before the infections happened in the market”

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Dr. Daniel Lucey

The following is a guest post by Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA

A crucial mile marker in the marathon to understand when and where the Covid-19 pandemic began has been crossed. The China Center for Disease Control Director, Dr. George Fu Gao (Gao Fu) was quoted in the South China Morning Post May 23 saying:

“We first believed the virus originated in the seafood market, but now it looks like that the market is just another victim. The virus existed [before the infections happened in the market],” Gao said.

What new information that now finally rules out the market as the origin of the pandemic was not provided; Dr. Gao, however, stated:

“Scientists, researchers, and public health workers have worked hard on it, but at the current stage we can’t tell specifically which animal is [the host],” said Gao. “I hope the public can give scientists more time for us to understand this virus.”

Commentaries citing evidence against the market and December 2019 as the place and time of the origin of COVID-19 were posted here on Science Speaks on Jan. 25, March 15, April 9, and April 27.

A widely-read article by Jon Cohen was posted January 26 in Science Insider associated with an interview by Jon Cohen following the Jan. 25 Science Speaks post.

An article by this writer and Kristen Kent, was published Feb. 6 in “Think Global Health” (Council on Foreign Relations).

A related article was published Feb. 25 in Caixin (in Mandarin, by Xu Luyi) when I was in Shanghai.

With evidence against any laboratories in Wuhan as the origin, and now the Wuhan seafood market ruled out, then the true origin remains to be found or at least reported publicly. The marathon search for the origin continues to the remaining mile markers ahead.

Daniel Lucey, M.D. MPH, FIDSA, FACP, is an infectious diseases physician and adjunct professor of infectious diseases at Georgetown University Medical Center, a senior scholar at the Georgetown University O’Neil Institute, Anthropology Research Associate, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Global Health Committee.He has served as a volunteer medical responder to outbreaks that included the West Africa Ebola crisis. He has collected information on outbreaks starting in 2001 with cases of anthrax in 2001, and including smallpox vaccination 2002, SARS 2003, H5N1 Flu 2004, MERS in 2013, and Ebola in April, 2014, He has gathered, and  updated information on the spread of the coronavirus here since Jan. 6.

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