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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

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.

4 hours ago - Health

First cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant discovered in U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant were detected in the United Kingdom overnight, the U.K. Health Security Agency announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The discovery comes as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.