Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.

Bush labels Clyburn the “savior” for Democrats

House Majority Whip James Clyburn takes a selfie Wednesday with former President George W. Bush. Photo: Patrick Semansky-Pool/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush credited Rep. James Clyburn with being the "savior" of the Democratic Party, telling the South Carolinian at Wednesday's inauguration his endorsement allowed Joe Biden to win the party's presidential nomination.

Why it matters: The nation's last two-term Republican president also said Clyburn's nod allowed for the transfer of power, because he felt only Biden had the ability to unseat President Trump.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!