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White House: China, WHO Need To 'Step Up' On Investigation Into COVID Origin

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, seen here during a press briefing on Feb. 4, told CBS the World Health Organization has more work to do to get to the bottom of where the coronavirus emerged.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan, seen here during a press briefing on Feb. 4, told CBS the World Health Organization has more work to do to get to the bottom of where the coronavirus emerged.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan says he has concerns over the data China has provided to the World Health Organization regarding the origins of the coronavirus.

President Biden's national security adviser said Sunday that the administration has concerns over the data China has provided to the World Health Organization regarding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We need a credible, open, transparent international investigation led by the World Health Organization," Jake Sullivan said in an interview with CBS' Face the Nation.

Sullivan said the Biden administration has questions about an upcoming report from the WHO about the pandemic's origins.

"We do not believe that China has made available sufficient original data into how this pandemic began to spread, both in China and then eventually around the world," he said. "And we believe that both the WHO and China should step up on this matter."

He said Biden did "raise the issue of COVID-19 and the need for all countries to shoulder responsibility" during his recent call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Earlier this month a WHO team presented its initial findings after wrapping up a visit to Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019. The researchers said the outbreak almost certainly did not start in a Chinese lab, but that its path from animals to humans needs further investigation.

And one of those team members, Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans, told NPR's Steve Inskeep that said she and her team believe the pandemic did not originate at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.

"The market is not the whole story," she said. "The market has been one of those spreading events but there also was circulation outside of, aside from the market."