The Trump administration's "economic cold war" with China has spread to the search for cancer cures, as the administration tries to rid U.S. research institutions of Chinese influence, Bloomberg reports.

The impact: "Chinese people in America, including U.S. citizens, are now targeted for FBI surveillance," Bloomberg's Peter Waldman writes.

What it means: "The aim is to stanch China's well-documented and costly theft of U.S. innovation and know-how. The collateral effect, however, is to stymie basic science, the foundational research that underlies new medical treatments," Waldman adds.

Details: Cancer researcher Xifeng Wu, an American citizen, resigned in January from a top position at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, after a months-long investigation into her professional ties to China.

  • The investigation was led by the National Institutes of Health and the FBI. Three other Chinese-American scientists also recently left MD Anderson.
  • An NIH official said Wu and 4 other scientists had violated confidentiality requirements and didn't disclose paid work in China.

Yes, but: Cancer research has become increasingly globalized, and U.S.-China collaborations have produced meaningful work.

  • "Ways of working that have long been encouraged by the NIH and many research institutions ... are now quasi-criminalized," Waldman writes.

What they're saying: "Even something that is in the fundamental research space, that’s absolutely not classified, has an intrinsic value," Lawrence Tabak, principal deputy director of the NIH, told Bloomberg.

  • "This pre-patented material is the antecedent to creating intellectual property. In essence, what you’re doing is stealing other people's ideas."

Go deeper: For Trump, 2020 is a China trade war election

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - World

At least 50 killed, 3,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. Lebanon's health minister said in televised remarks that more than 50 people have been killed and over 3,000 injured.

51 mins ago - Podcasts

The debate over COVID-19 liability protections

Stimulus talks continue to move slowly, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on whether or not to include coronavirus-related liability protections for businesses, health facilities and schools.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the debate, which could reset the cost-benefit analysis for businesses thinking about reopening and employees thinking about returning.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 18,364,694 — Total deaths: 695,848 — Total recoveries — 10,965,634Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 4,742,277 — Total deaths: 156,133 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — New York ER doctor on pandemic advice: "We know what works"
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll Atrium Health CEO says "virtual hospital" has treated 13,000 COVID patients.
  5. Politics: Republicans push to expand small business loan program Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.