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Was the COVID-19 virus made in a laboratory?

The COVID-19 virus was not designed in a laboratory. The COVID-19 virus is most closely related (96% identical) to a coronavirus that was previously identified in bats. Scientists are working around the clock to determine which animal was the original host of COVID-19 and which mutations the virus obtained that enabled it to infect humans. The suggestion that the virus was created in a lab has been debunked and retracted.

Drafted: 10 March 2020.