Government documents reveal CDC delayed disclosing likely COVID-19 animal spillover event
Emails shine a spotlight on a months-long delay in publicly disclosing suspected mink-to-human spread in the U.S.
A trove of government documents obtained by National Geographic provides the first behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) investigation into a suspected COVID-19 animal-to-human spillover event in Michigan in late 2020. The documents, and the agency’s statements in response to them, make clear the CDC was aware that mink on a fur farm may have infected humans at least three months before it quietly updated its website in March 2021.
Coronavirus researchers say the delay in publicly sharing this suspected spillover event may have hindered their ability to effectively monitor spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which experts warn could take hold in another species, mutate, and then jump back to humans