Andrew Harnik / AP

The staff fired this week were in one of the few top offices that directly report to the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (the office of the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, per CBS.

Why this matters: A former State Department official told Axios the Deputy Secretary of State may have to pick up the slack for this empty office, which may rob the State Department of focused regional policy-making and guidance that helps U.S. diplomats do their job.

"Given the current environment I don't know why you wouldn't take advantage" of the management office, a former senior State Department official told Axios, referring to the other four senior management State officers who were recently asked to pack their bags.

The buzz around State is that Trump could be planning to eliminate this office, a current senior State Department official told Axios.

This adds to the signals that the White House is trying to step up its role in foreign policy. The senior State Department official told Axios this is normal, but that the POTUS traditionally works through the National Security Council. These dismissals also add to the concern that diplomats' ability to influence policy is already under attack since Sean Spicer said diplomats can "either get with the program or they can go" after hundreds signed a dissent channel a few weeks ago.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 34,124,948 — Total deaths: 1,016,723 — Total recoveries: 23,703,113Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 7,273,244 — Total deaths: 207,605 — Total recoveries: 2,840,747 — Total tests: 103,946,170Map.
  3. Politics: House prepares to pass revised COVID relief bill as White House talks hit roadblock — Biden to expand voter outreach with in-person canvassing amid pandemic.
  4. Health: Health officials urge flu shots, warning of "twindemic" with COVID-19 — Coronavirus infections rise in 25 states.
  5. Business: Remdesivir is good business for Gilead — Amazon says over 19,800 employees contracted coronavirus — Doomsday has arrived for tens of thousands of workers.

Doomsday has arrived for tens of thousands of workers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Federal coronavirus aid for airlines expires on Thursday with no renewal in sight, meaning massive layoffs for the industry aren't far behind.

The big picture: Airline workers aren't alone on the unemployment line. Oil companies, tire manufacturers, book publishers and insurers are among those that have announced tens of thousands of layoffs. Federal aid through the CARES Act earlier this year delayed most layoffs — until now.

4 hours ago - Science

How the brain handles the unknown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uncertainty can be hard for humans. It drives anxiety, an emotion neuroscientists are trying to understand and psychologists are trying to better treat.

Why it matters: Under the threat of a virus, job insecurity, election uncertainty, and a general pandemic life-in-limbo that is upending school, holidays and more, people are especially anxious.