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5 Questions: Stanford’s David Relman on investigating origin of coronavirus

On May 13, the journal Science published a letter, signed by 18 scientists, stating that it was still unclear whether the virus that causes COVID-19 emerged naturally or was the result of a laboratory accident, but that neither cause could be ruled out. David Relman, MD, the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor and professor of microbiology and immunology, spearheaded the effort.

Stanford Medicine science writer Bruce Goldman asked Relman to explain what remains unknown about the coronavirus’s emergence, what we may learn and what’s at stake.