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

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios VisualsThe

The Philippines' economy sunk into recession as its gross domestic product shrank 16.5% in the second quarter — marking the lowest reading since 1981, official figures show.

The big picture: Millions of Filipinos went on lockdown Tuesday as cases surged past 106,300, with stay-at-home orders in place for two weeks in Manila and nearby provinces on the island of Luzon, per the BBC. The economy's contraction is the "deepest" on record, Bloomberg notes.

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Nurses rally nationwide to demand protection amid pandemic

Healthcare workers on their way to work walk past demonstrators taking part in a national day of action in Miami on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Nurses took more than 200 active demonstrations inside and outside U.S. hospital facilities in at least 16 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday to demand full personal protective equipment and federal government action.

Driving the news: National Nurses United (NNU) members are demanding that the Senate pass the HEROES Act, House Democrats' $3 trillion pandemic recovery package, which they said would protect health care workers by ensuring domestic production of PPE through the Defense Production Act.

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Fauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN's chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday that it is "totally unacceptable" that Gupta was unable to test a patient for the coronavirus before operating on them.

Why it matters: Mass delays in coronavirus test results across the U.S. have thwarted mitigation efforts recommended by public health experts, per the New York Times. In absence of a federal plan, a bipartisan group of governors on Tuesday proposed one of the country's first interstate testing strategies.