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Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, May 24. Photo: Laurent Gillieron/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The head of the World Health Organization said Thursday that it was too early to rule out a potential connection between the coronavirus pandemic and a laboratory leak, AP reports.

Driving the news: WHO is “asking actually China to be transparent, open and cooperate, especially on the information, raw data that we asked for at the early days of the pandemic," Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, per AP.

  • Tedros said there was a "premature push" to rule out the theory that the virus might have originated from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan.

The big picture: The theory that COVID-19 started in a lab has gained traction in recent months, especially following President Biden's move in May to order the intelligence community to investigate the origins of the virus.

  • More than halfway into Biden's 90-day push to determine the cause of the virus, the intelligence community remains divided over whether the virus leaked from a Wuhan lab or emerged naturally, CNN reports.
  • Some senior Biden administration officials overseeing the intelligence review now say that the theory that the virus accidentally escaped from a lab in Wuhan is at least as credible as the possibility that it emerged naturally in the wild, per CNN.
  • China has dismissed attempts to link the origins of the virus to the lab in Wuhan saying attempts are politically motivated.

What they're saying: “I was a lab technician myself, I’m an immunologist, and I have worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen,” Tedros said. “It’s common.”

  • "We need information, direct information on what the situation of this lab was before and at the start of the pandemic."
  • "If we get full information, we can exclude (the lab connection)," Tedros said.

Go deeper: The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

Israel reinstates COVID-19 restrictions as cases surge

Elderly residents wait to receive their third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a medical center in Tel Aviv on Aug. 2. Photo: Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Israel announced Tuesday it will tighten public health measures due to surging in COVID-19 case numbers.

Driving the news: The latest restrictions come as Israel saw nearly 4,000 new daily cases reported on Tuesday, the highest count so far since the country began experiencing an uptick last month, the AP reports.

Updated 24 hours ago - Economy & Business

More corporations are requiring workers to get vaccinated

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Life for the unvaccinated could get more difficult as bosses increasingly move to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory.

The big picture: The federal Government in May said it is legal for companies to require employees to get vaccinated for coronavirus.

Florida school district reverses mask mandate after DeSantis' funding threat

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Florida's second-largest school district on Monday said it will no longer impose a mask mandate after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) threatened to withhold funding from districts that require face coverings.

Driving the news: Broward County Public Schools announced last week that it would require mask use after the CDC issued new guidance recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools this incoming school year, regardless of vaccination status.