President Trump announced tonight he's nominating Scott Gottlieb as the new Food and Drug Administration commissioner. Here's what you need to know about him.

  • He's a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a venture capitalist.
  • He was also a deputy FDA commissioner under President George W. Bush.
  • He's a more establishment Republican than some of the other reported candidates, like Jim O'Neill, an ally of venture capitalist and Trump adviser Peter Thiel.
  • But Gottlieb is sure to be a reliable advocate for most conservatives' goals for the FDA, like speeding approval times.
  • As we reported in a pre-launch edition of Vitals in December, Gottlieb gave a pretty good idea of what his FDA agenda would look like in Senate testimony in October: rewriting FDA's rules to help it approve more generic substitutes, and encouraging Congress to let drug makers provide discounts at the front end, not rebates at the back end.
  • He's a frequent contributor to Forbes and has written many articles about FDA issues.
  • He has told STAT that he would pay special attention to the safety of the blood supply and unsafe foods.
  • He has been a vocal critic of vaccine safety skeptics — a stance that could create conflicts with Trump, who has questioned the safety of vaccines many times.

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The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The new deal to rescue TikTok from a threatened U.S. ban — full of provisions aimed at creating the temporary appearance of a presidential win — looks like a sort of Potemkin village agreement.

How it works: Potemkin villages were fake-storefront towns stood up to impress a visiting czar and dignitaries. When the visitors left, the stage set got struck.

  • Similarly, many elements of this plan look hastily erected and easily abandoned once the spotlight moves on.
1 hour ago - Technology

Over 3 million U.S. voters have already registered on social media

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An estimated 2.5 million+ Americans have registered to vote on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger, Facebook announced Monday. More than 733,000 Americans have registered to vote so far via Snapchat.

Why it matters: The broad reach of social media platforms makes them uniquely effective at engaging voters — especially younger voters who may not know how to register to vote or be civically engaged.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street: Recession is over

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. economic activity fell more sharply in the second quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history. It's also going to grow more sharply in the third quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history.

  • The recession is over, according to Wall Street, with current forecasts showing sustained economic growth through 2021 and beyond.