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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chinese officials briefed diplomats in Beijing on Friday on four possible ways the coronavirus arrived in Wuhan, AP reports.

Why it matters: The briefing comes ahead of the release of the World Health Organization's report on the virus' origin, and "is based on a visit earlier this year by a WHO team of international experts to Wuhan," the AP writes.

  • "The experts worked with Chinese counterparts, and both sides have to agree on the final report. It’s unclear when it will come out," according to AP.

Details: Feng Zijian, deputy director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, identified the four possible origins:

  1. A bat carrying the virus infected a person.
  2. A bat infected a mammal who then gave it to a person.
  3. The virus came from shipments of cold or frozen food.
  4. It leaked from a Wuhan laboratory that was researching viruses.

Experts said it is most likely that the virus originated from the two animal routes or from the cold food shipment, adding that a "lab leak was viewed as extremely unlikely," AP notes.

The big picture: "The debate over the origins of the coronavirus has been ongoing since the start of the pandemic, causing rising tensions between the U.S. and China," Axios' Zachary Basu reports.

What's next: WHO said on Friday that the report was finalized and was currently getting fact-checked and translated.

  • “I expect that in the next few days, that whole process will be completed and we will be able to release it publicly,” WHO expert Peter Ben Embarek said, per AP.

Go deeper

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.