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Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Don't expect to see a big shakeup once Scott Gottlieb leaves the Food and Drug Administration.

The big picture: "We are going to be carrying forward Dr. Gottlieb's vision," HHS Secretary Alex Azar told a House panel yesterday, per UPI. "His agenda is my agenda. My agenda is his agenda."

Between the lines: Continuity also seems to be the implicit message in announcing that Ned Sharpless, currently the director of the National Cancer Institute, will take over as acting FDA commissioner once Gottlieb departs.

  • Sharpless' scientific background is a welcome sign for the public-health advocates who were so fond of Gottlieb.
  • And Sharpless has praised Gottlieb's actions on tobacco — the most controversial part of his legacy, and one that won't be fully cemented by the time he leaves.
  • Tobacco stocks were down yesterday after Sharpless' appointment was announced, Bloomberg notes.

Details: Sharpless has led NCI (it's part of the National Institutes of Health) since 2017, and had a long career in academia before that.

  • He's gotten "good reviews from cancer advocates, patient groups and academic researchers," per the Washington Post, for an agenda that has focused heavily on modernizing clinical trials and improving data-sharing.
  • He's also "a regular player in evening basketball games arranged by FDA officials," according to the Post.

What's next: Sharpless will likely be on the job in the next few weeks. The White House will look for a permanent commissioner, though he could be in the running.

Last look at Gottlieb: FDA chief hands the WH his plan to restrict flavored e-cigs

Go deeper

7 mins ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

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