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Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

China on Sunday accused the U.S. of "pointing fingers," following a statement from the Biden administration alleging that Beijing may have meddled into the World Health Organization's probe into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they're saying: "What the U.S. has done in recent years has severely undermined multilateral institutions, including the WHO," China wrote in a statement from its embassy in D.C. It added that the U.S. has "gravely damaged international cooperation on COVID-19."

  • "But the U.S., acting as if none of this had ever happened, is pointing fingers at other countries who have been faithfully supporting the WHO and at the WHO itself."
"With such a track record, how can it win the confidence of the whole world? It is hoped that the U.S. will hold itself to the highest standards, take a serious, earnest, transparent and responsible attitude, shoulder its rightful responsibility, support the WHO's work with real actions and make due contribution to the international cooperation on COVID-19. The whole world will be looking."
— Statement from the Chinese embassy

The backdrop: The statement comes after National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan expressed "deep concerns" that the Chinese government may have intervened or altered the findings of the investigation.

  • The WHO team ultimately 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.
  • 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, drawing a rare rebuke from WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

What's new: U.K. foreign minister Dominic Raab on Sunday said he shares the U.S.' concern about the WHO's probe.

Go deeper: Fauci sees greater China role in COVID-19 spread, looking back a year later

Go deeper

Updated Feb 14, 2021 - World

Biden administration has "deep concerns" about WHO's COVID-19 probe

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.

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.

Updated Feb 15, 2021 - World

New Zealand confirms U.K. coronavirus strain as city locks down

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a news conference in Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday. Photo: Lynn Grieveson - Newsroom/Newsroom via Getty Images

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday it was "absolutely right" for New Zealand's most populous city to lock down, after genome sequencing linked a COVID-19 outbreak in an Auckland family to a more virulent strain.

Why it matters: It's the first time the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the U.K. has been found in NZ. Auckland locked down late Sunday for three days over the three community cases amid concern it might be a more contagious strain.