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Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

The White House didn't disclose troop counts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria in a semi-annual report sent to Congress on Monday, Yahoo reports.

Why it matters: Trump has said before that he doesn't want to announce troop numbers in an effort to avoid advertising U.S. deployments, despite disclosing the counts in the previous report (8,448 troops in Afghanistan, 5,262 in Iraq, and 503 in Syria). The omission also comes less than a week after the Pentagon released updated numbers in Syria (2,000 troops). The administration has also been criticized for not detaling U.S. military involement in Niger where four U.S. troops were killed in Oct.

Other changes in Monday's report:

Jordan:

  • On Monday: 2,300 troops.
  • In June: 2,850.

Yemen:

  • On Monday: A "small number of United States military personnel."
  • In June: Not listed.

Lebanon:

  • On Monday: 100 troops in Lebanon.
  • In June: Not listed.

Egypt:

  • On Monday: 400 troops.
  • In June: 700.

Central African Republic, the Republic of South Sudan, the Central African nations of Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

  • On Monday: Not listed.
  • In June: 410 personnel deployed.

The Philippines:

  • On Monday: An "unspecified number" of troops supporting "counterterrorism operations."
  • In June: No mention.

Niger:

  • On Monday: 800 personnel.
  • In June: 645.

Cameroon:

  • On Monday: Unspecified presence.
  • In June: 300.

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
5 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.

7 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.