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.