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Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS

Cindy McCain, the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, has joined the board of Joe Biden's presidential transition team.

Why it matters: McCain, who endorsed Biden last week after allegations in The Atlantic that President Trump had denigrated members of the military, joins former Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald as the second registered Republican on the transition board.

The big picture: Other high-profile members of the transition board include New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, former 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former national security adviser Susan Rice, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, according to the Wall Street Journal.

What they're saying: "This transition is like no other, preparing amid the backdrop of a global health crisis and struggling economy, which makes Mrs. McCain’s experience as a business woman, philanthropist, and longtime advocate for issues impacting women and children all the more valuable," said transition co-chair and former Sen. Ted Kaufman.

  • "Diversity of ideology and background is a core value of the transition, and today’s announcement is another step demonstrating the importance of unifying the country under a Biden-Harris administration.”

Go deeper: The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Go deeper

Biden taps Obama veterans Kathleen Hicks and Colin Kahl for top Pentagon roles

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden announced Wednesday he would select former Obama administration officials Kathleen Hicks and Colin Kahl to serve in top civilian roles at the Department of Defense.

The state of play: Hicks, who previously served as a deputy under secretary of defense and has remained a trusted Biden adviser, was nominated to become the first female deputy defense secretary.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker

Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates

A teacher prepares a hallway barrier to help students maintain social distancing at John B. Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) filed a lawsuit Friday against the Biden administration for ordering the state to stop allocating federal COVID relief funds to schools that don't comply with public health recommendations such as masking, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The Treasury Department said last week that the state would have to pay back the money if Ducey does not redesignate the $173 million programs to ensure they don't "undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19."