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Nominations sent to the Senate by the Trump administration have picked up, with 44% of the total nominations so far coming in June, according to data from Partnership for Public Service.

Why it matters: Although the administration is making progress, Trump's nominations have been delayed from the start and there are around 1,200 federal positions total to fill, per the 2016 Plumb Book, which tracks presidentially appointed positions.

Expand chart
Data: Partnership for Public Service; Note: Count as of July 2, includes executive branch positions, judicial branch positions (like the Sentencing Commission), legislative branch positions (like the Architect of the Capitol), and ex officio or positions that require their own hearings and/or votes (like the IMF Governor, etc.)

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.

4 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.