The post hit the internet on Jan. 10. Uploaded to an obscure medical website, it was met with little fanfare. But to the world’s scientific community, it was like a gunshot at the starting line.
The race was on.
For weeks, newscasts had featured increasingly frightening scenes from Wuhan, the central Chinese hub where a mysterious contagion was rapidly spreading.
But just days into the New Year, researchers in China had finally revealed the genetic code of the novel coronavirus, offering Western researchers their first glimpse into the pathogen’s potency – and its simplicity.
Almost immediately, on the other side of the world, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., scrambled to mobilize his team of