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Expand chart
Data: AP; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

After reaching a record-breaking number of 14,542 migrant children in its custody last month, the Department of Health and Human Services has released more than 3,500 children, according to data collected by the Associated Press from individual HHS migrant child shelters.

Why it matters: While President Trump keeps the government shut down over his demands for a border wall, one aspect of the humanitarian crisis seems to be coming back under control.

The big picture: The controversial tent city in Tornillo, Texas, has been closed, but there are still more than 10,000 migrant minors still in HHS shelters — 50% more than there were at the same time last year.

By the numbers: Around 94% of the unaccompanied children were released to sponsors — the majority of which are family members already in the U.S. In addition, 3% were released because they turned 18, and 3% under other circumstances, an HHS spokesperson told Axios.

  • HHS has sped up its process for finding relatives or other families to care for the kids by no longer requiring that every household member of a sponsor family be fingerprinted.

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Be smart: There will be a coronavirus vaccine for adults long before there is one for kids.

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

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Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

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Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

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General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.