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Chief Justice John Roberts again declined Thursday to read a question from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) during the question-and-answer portion of President Trump's Senate impeachment trial.

The big picture: Paul attempted to include the alleged name of the Ukraine whistleblower in his questions on Wednesday, CNN reported. When beginning Thursday's proceedings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised Roberts a "level of consideration" in reading the questions out loud — an apparent dig at Paul.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Alayna Treene: The chief justice has attempted to remain an unbiased arbitrator throughout this process. His decision to shoot down Paul's attempts to publicly name the whistleblower on the Senate floor infuriated Paul, who then violated Senate rules by leaving the trial and holding a press conference, but were in line with McConnell and other top GOP leaders who were against revealing the whistleblower's identity.

Go deeper: The daily highlights from Trump's impeachment trial

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

5 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

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