(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.

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Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,161,612 — Total deaths: 164,690 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
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  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  5. Education: Gallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
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U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.