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Scientists Still Don’t Have All the Answers about the Coronavirus–and That’s a Sign of Progress

Seven months into the pandemic, U.S. government officials and scientists still disagree over basic safety guidance on the coronavirus. People are still disregarding key public health advice. And we are still seeing leading public health organizations revise their understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

But the fact that messaging from public health and scientific experts has changed during the pandemic is a sign of progress—and not completely unexpected, says Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor who runs the Emergent Epidemics Lab at Northeastern.

“By the very nature of emerging and infectious diseases,” Scarpino says, “sometimes you’re going to be right and sometimes you’re going to be wrong.”

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