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

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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 24 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up — Team USA to mandate vaccine for Winter Olympic hopefuls — U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world.
  2. Health: Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Biden pushes massive economic plan despite "stalemate"

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday urged congressional Democrats to overcome differences surrounding his multi-trillion-dollar economic proposal but said he's still confident it will pass.

Why it matters: It's currently unclear how the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package will move forward with moderate and progressive Democrats in disagreement over critical portions of the legislation.