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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

Oct 23, 2021 - Health

Benefits of COVID vaccine for children outweigh risks, FDA says

A nurse gives a girl a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla., on the day before classes begin for the 2021-22 school year. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration regulators said Friday that the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children far outweigh the risks for children ages 5 to 11.

Why it matters: The announcement could add momentum to the FDA's authorization of doses for children on an emergency basis, which could happen as early as next week, according to the New York Times.

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.