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President Trump announced today six key additions to the Department of Defense.

Why this matters: Today's announcements are welcome signs of progress for Trump. Multiple well-placed sources have told us that the Defense Department, now led by General James Mattis, has had worse staffing problems than any other agency. The White House's office of personnel has struggled to deal with Mattis, who has Trump's ear, suggesting people considered too left-wing to serve in a Republican administration.

Who's in:

  1. Patrick Shanahan, Deputy Secretary of Defense, is a senior VP at Boeing, in charge of the company's manufacturing operations and supplier management.
  2. David Joel Trachtenberg will serve as Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Policy. He's a Defense Department veteran currently CEO of the national security consultancy, Shortwaver Consulting.
  3. Kenneth Rapuano will serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense and Global Security. Rapuano is a senior VP at the ANSER Corporation, and previously served as White House Deputy Homeland Security Advisor from 2004-2006.
  4. David Norquist, Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller, is a partner with the accounting firm Kearney and Company. He's also got nearly 30 years government experience dealing with defense finances.
  5. Elaine McCusker, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller. She's currently the director of resources and analysis at U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base.
  6. Robert Daigle, Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE). He served in CAPE under the Bush Administration.

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
1 hour ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.