FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb prepares to testify on Capitol Hill. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration has dramatically cut down its backlog of generic drugs waiting for an approval decision — a long-standing but elusive goal with the potential to help lower consumers' drug costs.

What they're saying: "I think the greatest opportunity to have a very palpable impact on people's lives is through trying to create greater access," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview with The Washington Post. "The low-hanging fruit was on the generic drug side."

The numbers that matter: In 2012, the FDA had a backlog of more than 2,800 applications seeking the approval of a new generic drug. That's now down to the "low 100s," according to the Post.

Why it matters: Drug pricing is an enormously partisan issue, but just about everyone supports faster approval decisions for generics. And by making that happen, Gottlieb is making good on the conservative pledge to lower prices by bolstering competition.

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Delta CEO: Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travel

Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Delta CEO Ed Bastian on Friday told CNN that he believes the Trump administration should move to require the use of face masks during air travel amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

The big picture: Delta already requires passengers to wear masks during its flights, but Bastian says it can be difficult to enforce that directive if passengers refuse — and he's not sure if other airlines would be on board.

Trump's outdoor New Hampshire rally postponed due to weather

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's outdoor campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H., slated to take place on Saturday, was postponed on Friday due to weather from Tropical Storm Fay, a senior White House official confirmed to Axios.

The state of play: Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Air Force One that the event would take place in "a week or two" instead. The outdoor rally — which had encouraged the use of face masks — was scheduled after sparse attendance at Trump's indoor comeback to the campaign trail in Tulsa.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 12,333,740 — Total deaths: 556,110 — Total recoveries — 6,781,353Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 3,140,840 — Total deaths: 133,542 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: The U.S.' new default strategy: herd immunity
  4. ✈️ Travel: Delta CEO says Trump administration should issue mask mandate for air travelAirlines say air quality, cleanliness lower risk.
  5. Sports: Sen. Richard Blumenthal calls on colleges to cancel fall sports.