Jan 19, 2017

Drug company lobbyist to be Trump's FDA temp

Evan Vucci / AP

STAT has a scoop that the Trump transition team has tapped lobbyist Jack Kalavritinos for a major role on the "beachhead" team to run the Food and Drug Administration after President-elect Trump's inauguration on Friday.

Who? Kalavritinos was the head of global lobbying for hospital supplier Covidien, which moved its global HQ to Ireland after being acquired by Medtronic in 2014 to take advantage of lower tax rates.

Does Trump know? "Here's what he said about drug company lobbyists at last week's press conference: "Pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there's very little bidding on drugs."

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi embraces President Trump upon his arrival at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

India has begun honoring President Trump and members of the U.S. first family after they arrived at Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport in Ahmedabad in the country's northwest Monday for a two-day visit.

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is demonstrating the importance of the visit by holding a "Namaste Trump Rally" at Ahmedabad's 110,000-capacity Motera stadium — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 mins ago - World

Concern over coronavirus spread: Italy, South Korea and Iran report more cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran jumped on Sunday as infections in mainland China continued to grow, the latest figures show.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures amid rising case numbers, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy