Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan speaking to reporters at the White House on Feb. 4, 2021. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Saturday that the administration is concerned by the World Health Organization's (WHO) probe into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: Sullivan said the administration fears the Chinese government may have intervened or altered the findings of the investigation.

Context: On the first day of his administration, Biden acted to return the U.S. to the WHO. The Trump administration had started a withdrawal from the organization in July 2020.

  • WHO teams last month conducted the investigation in Wuhan, China, where the virus first emerged.
  • The investigation had been agreed to last May, but it was delayed after Chinese officials withheld authorization to allow the international team's scheduled visit.
  • The delay drew a rare rebuke from WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The WHO team concluded that it's "extremely unlikely" the virus came from a laboratory accident, and that it most likely jumped to humans via an intermediate species.

  • “Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research,” said WHO scientist Peter Ben Embarek.

What they're saying: "The mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) has never been more important, and we have deep respect for its experts and the work they are doing every day to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and advance global health and health security," Sullivan said in a statement.

  • "But re-engaging the WHO also means holding it to the highest standards. And at this critical moment, protecting the WHO’s credibility is a paramount priority."
  • "We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them."
  • "It is imperative that this report be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government. To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak."

The big picture: Going forward, Sullivan said all countries, including China, should be more transparent in order to prevent health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic and allow other countries to respond to them faster.

The other side: The Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., said in a statement the U.S. has in recent years "severely undermined multilateral institutions, including the WHO, and gravely damaged international cooperation on COVID-19."

  • So the U.S. should not be "pointing fingers at other countries" who've supported the WHO, the statement added.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the Chinese Embassy.

Go deeper

Feb 12, 2021 - World

U.S. and Israeli national security advisers hold call on Iran

Meir Ben Shabbat. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat discussed Iran with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on a secure video call on Thursday, according to two Israeli officials.

Why it matters: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Ben Shabbat to lead Israel's talks on Iran with regional partners and world powers — most importantly, with the Biden administration, the Israeli officials say.

Feb 13, 2021 - Health

America’s extra vaccine doses could be key to global supply

Data: Duke Global Health Innovation Center; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

The Biden administration’s purchase of 200 million additional Pfizer and Modern doses means the U.S. could fully vaccinate 300 million people with just those two vaccines — and 355 million more people if four additional vaccines gain FDA approval.

Why it matters: The U.S. is home to 250 million adults, many of whom won’t elect to be vaccinated. It's also now in control of a big chunk of the global vaccine supply. The White House says the U.S. will eventually donate excess doses to other countries, but it hasn’t released a plan to do so.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
14 mins ago - Energy & Environment

The energy crises roiling Europe and China — and beyond

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Energy crises in Europe and China are spilling into economic forecasts, supply chains and beyond.

Driving the news: Europe has for weeks been facing sky-high natural gas and power prices, while China — the world's second-largest economy — is facing electricity shortages that are hobbling factories.