A conspiracy theory online baselessly suggests that the World Health Organization and other groups preplanned the variants of the novel coronavirus — citing a dubious timeline. But the timeline doesn’t square with the reality of when variants have been identified and designated thus far.
What do we know about the origins of SARS-CoV-2?
The exact origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, remains unknown. The scientific consensus has been that the virus likely originated in bats and then jumped to humans either directly or indirectly, through contact with an animal. Such zoonotic transfers have happened before with the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS. Lacking proof of that transfer, however, some scientists say more investigation is needed, and