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Medical workers processing on-site coronavirus tests in April. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic "comes at a time when the U.S. federal government’s investments in science are at the lowest levels in many years," Abby Joseph Cohen and Michael Hao Wu of Goldman Sachs Research write in a recent note to clients.

Where it stands: "The federal government now plays a much smaller role in advancing science than it did in the past. The consequence of this trend is particularly damaging for basic research, which depends on the government as its main source of funding."

  • "Since coming to office, the Trump administration has repeatedly attempted to limit funding for science, both for domestic research agencies and international public health programs."

By the numbers: In fiscal year 2019, federal R&D spending was 0.6% of U.S. GDP and 2.8% of total federal outlays, the lowest in more than 60 years, Cohen and Wu note.

  • In fiscal year 2019, federal R&D spending was down 14% from its 2011 levels.
  • "When adjusted for inflation, the first three years of the Trump administration had the lowest levels of federal R&D spending since FY 2002."
  • "The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to cut funding from federal research and public health agencies. Its FY 2021 budget released on February 10 proposed funding cuts of 18.6% for the CDC, 7.5% for NIAID, and 7.2% for NIH."

Go deeper: The race to make vaccines faster

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus forces rethinking of safety net for working women

Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Photo: "Axios on HBO"

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for working women, but one prominent women's policy expert says it could provide a new opportunity to create the kinds of social supports they should have had all along.

Driving the news: In an interview with "Axios on HBO," Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said the pandemic has created a "she-cession" — a loss of jobs that has disproportionately affected women and highlighted the gaps in the safety net for working families.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.
Aug 19, 2020 - Health

People of color struggle to afford health care

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

People of color disproportionately lack stable health insurance and have more trouble affording health care than white Americans, a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund shows.

Why it matters: This is one of the long-standing inequalities the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated.

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