Rumours about the origins of COVID-19 abound on the internet, but there is no evidence to suggest the virus was created in a lab.
“The research suggests that it most likely originated in animals, either the bat or the pangolin, a scaly mammal,” says Vivek Goel, the University of Toronto’s vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives, and a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
“It highlights the importance of understanding zoonotic infectious diseases in dealing with human health.”
In episode 16 of his podcast on the pandemic, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – explains why the notion that COVID-19 might be a bio-weapon is “the stuff of Hollywood movies” and why we should pay more attention to the concept of “one health.”
COVID-19: What’s Next? is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Goel and created in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.