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There's been a lot of coverage of alleged "gag orders" that the Trump administration has issued to employees at various federal agencies, and now the one to Department of Health and Human Services employees has been released. It was included in a letter to the White House from two top House Democrats, Frank Pallone and Elijah Cummings, demanding that the administration reverse that order and others.

Here's the key language:

No correspondence to public officials (e.g., Members of Congress, Governors) or containing interpretations or statements of Department regulations or policy, unless specifically authorized by me or my designee, shall be sent between now and February 3, during which time you will have the opportunity to brief President Trump's appointees and designees on any such correspondence which might be issued.

In a letter to White House counsel Donald McGahn, the Democrats charge that the memos violate federal whistleblower protection laws. We've reached out to the administration for comment, and will keep you posted.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 7 mins ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Expand chart
Data: Axios Research; Cartogram: Sara Wise and Oriana Gonzalez/Axios

Abortion would immediately become illegal in at least 12 states if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, and more would likely follow suit quickly.

Why it matters: The Mississippi case before the Supreme Court Wednesday could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers — U.S. on the lookout for Omicron casesFDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns" — Two federal judges temporarily block Biden vaccine mandates.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Pentagon denies Oklahoma National Guard request for exemption from vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron — COVID-19 "radically altered mobility" globally, UN says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.