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Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

The Lancet medical journal issued a statement Tuesday responding to a letter President Trump sent to the World Health Organization about the coronavirus, calling his citation of its studies "factually incorrect."

The big picture: In a letter sent to the WHO's director-general on Monday, Trump claimed the global health agency “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal." The Lancet said in a statement that it did not publish any papers on a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or China in the month of December.

  • The Lancet's statement said its first report on the novel coronavirus in Wuhan was published on Jan. 24 by scientists and physicians from Chinese institutions.
  • A second paper, also published Jan. 24, described the first scientific evidence confirming person-to-person transmission. It included scientists and physicians from Hong Kong and mainland China, according to the journal.

What they're saying:

"The allegations levelled against WHO in President Trump’s letter are serious and damaging to efforts to strengthen international cooperation to control this pandemic. It is essential that any review of the global response is based on a factually accurate account of what took place in December and January."
— The Lancet said in a statement Tuesday

Background: Trump threatened a permanent freeze of U.S. funds to the WHO and withdrawal from membership if the agency "does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: The early days of China's coronavirus outbreak and cover-up

Go deeper

Aug 26, 2020 - Health

Fauci says he was having surgery when CDC testing changes were approved

Anthony Fauci was in the operating room under general anesthesia last Thursday when the White House coronavirus task force approved the narrowing of CDC testing recommendations to exclude asymptomatic individuals, according to CNN's Sanjay Gupta.

Why it matters: Fauci, who had vocal cord surgery last week, told Gupta that he is "concerned about the interpretation of these recommendations and worried it will give people the incorrect assumption that asymptomatic spread is not of great concern. In fact, it is."

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

FDA authorizes Abbott's $5 rapid COVID-19 test

Results from the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test will be available in roughly 15 minutes. Photo: Courtesy of Abbott Laboratories.

Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday it received emergency use authorization (EAU) from the Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 test that works without lab equipment.

The big picture: Abbott said it will ramp up production of its "highly portable," $5 tests to 50 million by the beginning of October.