Mar 10, 2017

Trump nominates Gottlieb for FDA commissioner

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.

Go deeper

Sanders to Putin: You won't interfere in any more elections if I'm president

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the debate stage Tuesday, stating, "If I'm president of the United States, trust me, you're not going to interfere in any more American elections."

The big picture: It was unveiled last week that Russia has been interfering to boost Sanders' campaigns in an apparent attempt to strengthen President Trump's bid for reelection. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that "Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States, and that's why Russia is helping [Sanders] get elected.

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 wants to keep his momentum after winning New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hopes to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates are just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination are in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday.

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