Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

The U.S. joined six other countries on Wednesday in imposing additional sanctions against the senior leadership of Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah and Naim Qassem.

The big picture: Per Reuters, this "was the third round of sanctions announced...since the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal." Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that by targeting Hezbollah's leadership, "our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called ‘Political Wing’ and Hizballah’s global terrorist plotting."

Flashback: Senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, Alex Vatanka, told Axios last month that the U.S. needs to accept Hezbollah as "a fact of political life in Lebanon," as they aren't seen as a terrorist organization in the country.

  • Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Behnam Ben Taleblu told Axios: "This is a politically important and symbolic move by U.S. Treasury and select Gulf Arab states against the leader of Lebanese Hezbollah."

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U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began

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COVID Tracking Project

The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

By the numbers: Friday's total surpassed the U.S.'s previous record set on July 17 when 76,842 cases were recorded. 

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.