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Conspiracy theories have flourished about the origins of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes an acute respiratory syndrome (COVID-19) in humans. This paper reports the results from a study that evaluates the impact of exposure to framed messages about the origins of Covid-19. We tested four hypotheses: two focusing on its origins as either zoonotic or human-engineered, and two concerning the impacts of origin beliefs on the desire to penalize China or support increased funding for biomedical research. The results accentuate the importance of finding ways to combat the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories related to this global pandemic.


Author manuscript version of an article to be published in Sage Publications Science Communications COVID ISSUE: Framing the Origins of Covid-19.