The Bottom Line

Coronavirus: What do we know so far?

Science behind the virus, and political implications for China and global economy.

Weeks after the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, researchers are still not sure how it spreads between humans, and how to neutralise it.

While the mortality rate is relatively low, the quick spread of the virus triggered shock waves worldwide. By mid-February, cases were reported in more than 20 countries.

“Coronaviruses are known to circulate amongst humans but also other animal populations and particularly bats, and there are also other types of animals that can also carry coronaviruses,” Dr Lisa Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, tells Al Jazeera.

“So the thought now is that there were probably some intermediary species in that market or in the vicinity that had the coronavirus and mutations in the virus can also cause it to affect humans.”

We discuss the fallout of the epidemic beyond the public health dimensions. How does it affect China’s role in the world? Should we expect any economic impact?

Join Steve Clemons and his panel of experts as they get to The Bottom Line.


Dr Lisa Maragakis – researcher of infectious diseases and senior director of Infection Prevention at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr Leana Wen – physician and professor of Public Health at George Washington University; former Health Commissioner for the City of Baltimore

Robert Scott – senior economist for the Economic Policy Institute

Joshua Eisenman – assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame