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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton,. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

A photo Wednesday of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, posing with a sheet of new $1 bills — the first notes bearing his signature — prompted a frenzy online. Some remarked that the pair resembled James Bond villains. Here is how AP's Jacquelyn Martin, who took the photo, tells it:

  • "My assignment ... was to photograph Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Treasurer Jovita Carranza at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, getting a glimpse of the first dollar notes with their signatures on them."
  • Mnuchin "walked down the hall with his wife, Louise Linton, who I was surprised to see with him, and she was wearing full-length black leather gloves. ... [H]e turned to the camera and held up the bills, which I hadn't expected him to do so early in the tour. Mnuchin turned his head and gestured to Linton to join him. He then had her help him hold up the sheet of bills for the photo.
  • When Mnuchin "gestured for Linton to come over and be in the photo op, ... I knew for sure this image would get some interest. Based on their history and previous images that have been put out there — I had a feeling that this would take off. There is something about this couple that people are just fascinated by."
  • "Her direct gaze at the camera and the touch of her gloved hand on his as they hold a sheet of money together seems to have struck a chord."

Go deeper

Biden administration seeks to allow separated migrant families to reunite in U.S.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Monday that the Biden administration will explore "lawful pathways" to allow migrant families separated under the Trump administration to reunite in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has pledged to reunite the hundreds of families still separated as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, and signed an executive order last month creating a family separation task force chaired by Mayorkas.

CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.