May 3, 2017

The government's VR challenge, in one Darrell Issa quote

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

What policy challenges are posed by the rise of virtual reality? Republican Rep. Darrell Issa offered one answer at a Wednesday event in honor of the launch of a congressional caucus devoted to VR and its ilk:

"So, why do we need this caucus? Because we're going to start asking the question of, 'Can somebody get their pilot's license with 75, 80, 90 percent of the time being a virtual reality?' Can we in fact create better doctors with a lot less time over a human being and a lot more time … [using] a simulator as we would call it today? Government's going to have to be creative in understanding that."

There's more: Panelists at the event highlighted issues as wide ranging as privacy and how to regulate commerce in virtual worlds.

Why it matters: Virtual and augmented reality has drawn billions of investment dollars in recent years.

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Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrow51 mins ago - Health

Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.