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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"The Trump administration has put its search for the Justice Department’s No. 3 official [which would oversee the Mueller probe if Rod Rosenstein were to depart] on the back burner after failing to persuade several candidates," per The Wall Street Journal's Sadie Gurman and Aruna Viswanatha (subscription).

Why it matters: "The department lacks permanent, politically appointed leaders to oversee at least five high-profile units, including the criminal, civil and tax divisions."

Behind the curtain ... "Trump's fury with [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions is so ever-present it has taken to darkening his moods even during otherwise happy moments," AP's Jonathan Lemire and Eric Tucker report:

  • "On Thursday, Trump was on Air Force One returning from a trip to Texas ... [W]hen an aide mentioned Sessions, Trump abruptly ended the conversation and unmuted the television in his office broadcasting Fox News, dismissing the staffer to resume watching cable."

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbot (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 55 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.

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