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Csaba Krizsan / MTI via AP

President Trump's announcement this morning banning transgender individuals from military service stated that their service would cause the military to be "burdened with tremendous medical costs and disruption." However, a 2016 study by the nonpartisan RAND Corporation on the topic indicated just the opposite.

Why it matters: The reasons that Trump and his "generals and military experts" gave for the ban don't stand up to scrutiny, and the announcement seems more of a play to his base and a distraction from his growing discontent with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

  • The numbers: RAND estimates that there are about 2,450 transgender individuals in active duty assignments and another 1,510 in the Selected Reserve.
  • The medical costs: The study showed that not all transgender individuals seek out gender transition-related health care, estimating that the total costs from gender transition among military members would be between $2.4 million and $8.4 million — 0.005% to 0.017% of all Department of Defense health care spending.
  • The disruption: Using their highest estimates, RAND found that gender transition-related health care would prevent less than 0.1% of military forces from deploying — compared to the 14% of active duty Army members prevented from deploying because of routine legal, medical, or administrative reasons.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
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  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.