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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.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

The post-Trump GOP, gutted

McConnell (L), McCarthy (R) and Trump. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Republicans will emerge from the Trump era gutted financially, institutionally and structurally.

The big picture: The losses are stark and substantial.