Also today, White House COVID adviser Andy Slavitt demanded that China and the World Health Organization give definitive answers on the virus’ origin. There had been renewed reports that it might have been accidentally released by someone working at a Chinese lab.
Airlines began avoiding Belarus today, after a plane was forced down there on Sunday and a dissident journalist was arrested. Animation from a Swedish firm showed airliners diverting around Belarusian airspace. European officials had urged the move. Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko has been cracking down on leaders of last year’s mass protests.
The White House says President Biden and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will hold a summit next month in Geneva. It’s to be their first face-to-face encounter since Mr. Biden took office, and it will come at the end of his first international trip.
The Biden administration issued an international call today to rebuild the Palestinian territory Gaza, without helping the militant organization Hamas. The latest war between Hamas and Israel ended Friday in a cease-fire.
In Jerusalem today, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and said helping Gaza now could stave off yet another war.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken: We know that, to prevent a return to violence, we have to use the space created to address a larger set of underlying issues and challenges. And that begins with tackling the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and starting to rebuild.