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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

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

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Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.

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