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Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

The sanctions announced yesterday constitute the Trump administration’s first retaliatory response to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Yet the sanctions fail to hit Putin close enough to his power structures, such as those who hold money for senior regime officials, and lack appropriate coordination with allies, especially the U.K.

Why it matters: Although the sanctions are a welcome measure, they may not be forceful enough to deter Russia from interfering in the U.S. midterm elections this November.  

The most notable of Thursday’s sanctions are those imposed on senior GRU officials for the NotPetya cyber attack, which caused significant financial damage to western firms, especially Merck and Maersk. The others amount merely to bureaucratic housekeeping, targeting those indicted by the special counsel or redesignating targets that were penalized under the Obama administration.

The bottom line: The U.S. missed an opportunity in failing to impose more targeted sanctions against individuals named in the Kremlin report and in not coordinating more closely with our allies: After all, it was the U.K. that suffered the most damage from the NotPetya hack. Transatlantic unity was a hallmark of the Ukraine-related sanctions, and a similar response to both this attack and cyber hacking would send a much stronger message to Moscow.

Brian O’Toole is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program and a former senior adviser to the director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Treasury Department.

Go deeper: More experts weigh in at the Atlantic Council's New Atlanticist blog.

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.