John Arnold, a former energy trader and hedge fund manager, is putting up millions of dollars to fight the pharmaceutical industry over drug prices, the Wall Street Journal reports.

By the numbers: Arnold has given $19 million to ICER, the independent organization that studies whether drugs are worth what they cost.

  • Arnold and his wife have pledged another $5.7 million to I-MAK, an organization that challenges patents of brand name drugs.
  • Another $1 million went to Civica Rx, the drugmaker founded by a consortium of hospitals to produce generic drugs.
  • Arnold's foundation also funds the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs, which has taken on industry allies from both political parties.

Why it matters: The pharmaceutical industry is so powerful and has remained free from political intervention for so long, in part because it's enormously well-funded — both in its direct lobbying and in its advocacy work.

  • No one person is likely to outmatch the entire drug industry, but Arnold's foundation controls assets of more than $2 billion, per WSJ. That's more than the Red Cross — and enough to provide a credible counterweight to pharma.

Go deeper

8 mins ago - Health

We're losing the war on the coronavirus

Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 12 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.