Jan 16, 2017

Here's another ethics issue for Tom Price

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

It's about stocks, again. CNN notices the Georgia Republican, who is Trump's nominee to lead HHS, introduced legislation delaying regulation on a company in which he'd recently purchased stock. The transition team says there's no scandal — the purchase was made by a broker and Price didn't know about it until after the bill was introduced.

What happened:

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a new way to pay for drugs under Medicare Part B last year. It was ultimately withdrawn by the administration after the election, but drew vehement industry and congressional criticism.
  • Price, then chair of the House Budget Committee, bought stock in Zimmer Biomet shortly before introducing the delay bill. Analysts had said the Zimmer Biomet, a medical device manufacturer, would be significantly hurt by the regulation.
  • Zimmer Biomet's political action committee then contributed to Price's re-election campaign.
  • In a statement Monday night, the transition team said the purchase happened because Price's broker was doing a larger rebalancing of his portfolio and he didn't know about it until later.

What's next: If this sounds familiar, it's because Price's stock purchases have come up repeatedly in the past couple weeks, raising ethical questions. But the real question is whether it's a big enough deal to sink his nomination.

So far, the answer seems to be probably not. "It's hardly surprising he introduced a bill to overturn a badly written reg," said one Senate GOP aide. The aide also pointed out the bill had likely been drafted for awhile before it was introduced, which is standard law-writing process.

Go deeper

In photos: Life in the era of coronavirus across the U.S.

Cellist Jodi Beder performs a daily concert on her front porch in Mount Rainier, Maryland, to help people passing by and her neighbors cope with the outbreak. Photo: Andrew Caballero-ReynoldsE/AFP via Getty Images;

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the U.S. has grown from one on Jan. 21 to over 312,000 by early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins.

The big picture: Roughly 3/4 of the American population is on lockdown. From practicing social distancing to the shutdown of non-essential businesses, here's how Americans are coping with the massive upheaval the outbreak has brought, in photos.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,202,827 — Total deaths: 64,771 — Total recoveries: 246,886Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 312,076 — Total deaths: 8,496 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

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 and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S. The global death toll has surpassed 64,700, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II will speak in a televised address on the coronavirus Sunday of the "disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all," per the BBC. The U.K. death toll rose 708 to 4,313 on Saturday — the fourth highest in the world.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health