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New bombshell this morning: The National Institutes of Health would get a $5.8 billion funding cut in Trump's first budget — about 19 percent of its budget, per the Washington Post. That's after two years of Congress pushing for big increases.

And that's after Trump made a big issue of supporting research into new cures in his speech to Congress last month. Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney didn't tip his hand at a press briefing yesterday — he acknowledged that federal funding is needed for research into rare diseases," and our budget preserves the ability to do exactly that."

But NIH supporters in Congress have been warning that funding cuts are a real possibility. The agency got a $2 billion increase in December 2015, the biggest funding boost in a dozen years. And last year, STAT reported (oh wait, that's me!) that appropriators were looking at another $2 billion increase for the coming year. Congress hasn't finished its work on that funding package yet.

The bottom line: It's part of a 23 percent cut in overall discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, Bloomberg reports.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
31 mins ago - Science

Biden's military space future

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden should anticipate major and minor conflicts in space from even the earliest days of his presidency.

The big picture: President Donald Trump's military and civil space policies are well-documented, but Biden's record and views on space are less clear.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus may have been in U.S. in December 2019, study finds — Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposalFDA chief was called to West Wing to explain why agency hasn't moved faster on vaccine — The words that actually persuade people on the pandemic
  3. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as New York's COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. World: European regulators to assess first COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 29
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

Bipartisan group of senators unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.