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(Jacquelyn Martin / AP)

Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal when the leaders of the House and Senate health committees say they think vaccines are a good thing. But with President Trump's history of questioning the safety of vaccines, the bipartisan letter written to their colleagues today could send a more powerful message about where they stand.

"We write to you today to highlight the importance of immunizations, which protect Americans, especially infants and children, against outbreaks of serious and deadly infectious diseases. Vaccines save lives," the group wrote. It included Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate HELP Committee, and Reps. Greg Walden, Frank Pallone, Michael Burgess and Gene Green of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Between the lines: Prominent public figures — like Trump and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — have been questioning the safety of vaccines, and whether they have a link to autism. This letter seems to be an attempt to bring the political conversation back to scientific facts, rather than unfounded conspiracy theories.

Go deeper

33 mins ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pennsylvania. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the United States.

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.