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

Zeta, now a Category 2 Hurricane, makes landfall on Louisiana coast

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta, classified as a "significant" Category 2 hurricane, made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana on Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. The hurricane is producing 110-mph maximum sustained winds and stronger gusts. The core of Zeta — including its destructive eyewall — moved ashore near Cocodrie.

Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now. Conservative Justices Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch wrote in a separate opinion that it's too close to the election to take up the case, but it could still be reviewed after the election if late-arriving ballots make a difference.

24 mins ago - World

Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave

Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.

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