Feb 9, 2017

Trump hasn't forgotten about the opioid crisis

Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump and a bipartisan group of senators discussed what to do about the national crisis at a White House meeting Thursday, along with a variety of other topics. One idea Trump seemed to like in particular was for every new opioid to hit the market, a different one must be taken off. This idea was pitched by Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and was warmly received, according to Manchin's spokesman.

"I think he seemed to be intrigued by" Manchin's idea, Sen. John Cornyn told me. "He was very interested in the topic. I think some of this, he was aware of the problem, but some of the details about having pharma come up with a non-crushable tablet that can't be abused as much, I thought he found that interesting."

Why this matters: Opioid abuse has become a popular issue among lawmakers, and was discussed often on the campaign trail. However, Trump put forth very little information about what he wanted to do about it, so members like Manchin or Cornyn could have a lot of influence on the president.

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In photos: How coronavirus is impacting cities around the world

Revellers take part in the "Plague Doctors Procession" in Venice on Tuesday night during the usual period of the Carnival festivities, most of which have been cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has spread from China to infect people in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, killing over 2,700 people.

The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). Just Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.