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US, other nations challenge WHO report on origins of virus; coach wants testing dropped for Final Four: Live COVID-19 updates

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The U.S. and a dozen other countries issued a rare joint statement on Tuesday questioning the validity of a World Health Organization study into the origins of the coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China and has now killed almost 2.8 million people across the globe.

“We support a transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns regarding the recent WHO-convened study in China,” reads the statement, which was issued by the U.S. State Department in coordination with a raft of other governments, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The statement included strong support for the WHO and did not directly blame China for interfering with the scientific probe. But it said health experts were delayed in studying the origins of the virus and that even when granted access, they were denied “complete, original and samples.”

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