Virus "research" in the news

In the news about the coronavirus pandemic we often read that “research has shown” some or other aspect of the virus and the disease. For example, since the first quarter of this year research has been reported to have shown that many carriers of the virus are asymptomatic, that the virus can survive in the air, that the virus can survive for hours or even days on surfaces, depending on the surface type and other factors, etc. Many things are reported to have been discovered by such “research”.

Now, my question is this: what kind of research are we talking about here? Surely we are not talking about peer-reviewed research of the medical community, published in academic journals? If we are, which are those journals? Where are those research papers? I’m not talking about news articles mentioning “research”, I am talking about the research reports themselves.

I ask because I would really like to know how scientifically reliable all this alleged “research” is. I find it puzzling that some of it appears to have yielded very definite, strong, quantitative statements about things that I would expect to be fairly difficult to investigate even qualitatively, and even more difficult to make stand up to scientific standards of reproducibility, statistical significance, etc. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying that it’s puzzling that so many strong statements based on “research” have been forthcoming in only a few months.

Usually there is a news link included within the first post of a thread. Do you have a news link to share?

Yep, well, “usually” is not “always”. Clearly my post is an exception. I don’t recall there being a rule that posts in this category must include a news link. Clearly I’m asking a question related to the news, right? So it seems that my post belongs in this category, right? If you know a better category, do let me know.

P.S. I’ve updated the thread title to make sure it is extra-clear that I am inquiring about the “research” that often gets mentioned in the news.

The only way for the layman to tell is by the reputation of the source.

But that’s precisely what I’m asking about: what are those sources, where are they? Btw, I’m hardly a layman, which is why I trust that I can reasonably judge the reported “research” if someone could point me to some of it.

If you are trying to acquire the research apart from the news, try There are other research search engines, but that is the more accessible. Ifyou want to know what research was considered for a story, you will have to see if the news story cites their sources.

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I believe the CDC collects and lists all research related to Covid19. A search of their website will take you there. It’s probably over 800 various studies long now.

The WHO has the world’s largest database dedicated to COVID research from around the world. It currently has 54,388 papers available for searching.

I find it a very simple to use database, and very easy to search by keyword, title, etc.

You can find it all here:


Thanks for the correction and the link! Do you know if any other world wide organizations also keep a Covid database?

None that I am aware of, but the WHO does provide links to a variety of national and private sources that also contain information (though if it’s published, it will be in the WHO database):

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