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Scott Gottlieb (left)(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg, File)

President Trump recently nominated Scott Gottlieb, a venture partner with New Enterprise Associates, to lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This isn't terribly surprising, as we had previously noted that Gottlieb was the front-runner in a process that also included a pair of other folks with venture capital credentials (Jim O'Neill of Peter Thiel's Mithril and former Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan).

Axios spoke with with David Mott, the former MedImmune CEO who now leads NEA's healthcare investing practice, for some thoughts on Gottlieb:

Selling point: Mott argues that Gottlieb was the best person for the job because he has a "360 degree" view of the healthcare system, given that he is a practicing physcian, has worked with healthcare entrepreneurs and investors via NEA, has been a paid consultant to big pharma, has worked in a medical academic institution, has past FDA (and CMS) experience and is a cancer survivor. In short, he understands the pressures each group is under.

On conflicts: "Yes, he's been paid by drug companies and been on startup boards in the past, but he won't be going forward... He will help set direction, but he's not going to be the person overseeing a review, say, of an NEA portfolio company's product." Mott adds that Gottlieb does not have carried interest in NEA funds, and that there already have been discussions of how to manage/sever any other economic ties to NEA (although he declined to provide details).

In general: Mott agrees with many other healthcare VCs that the FDA approval process for both medical devices and pharma has improved substantially over the past several years, and he expects Gottlieb to keep moving such improvements forward. He also is pleased that the GOP healthcare plan (which he has not yet studied in detail) eliminates the so-called "medical device tax," which he believes had a "destructive impact on people's confidence in dedicating time, capital and resources to medical devices."

Go deeper

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
2 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Snapchat.

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.