Apr 21, 2017

WH officials to meet with top drugmakers next month

Greg Baker / AP

Top Trump administration officials are slated to meet with a number of executives from drug companies and government scientific researchers at the White House on May 8, according to an agenda obtained by Bloomberg. The meeting is described in the memo as a chance for "private sector and thought leaders to describe their institution and its connection to federal funding."

Why it matters: This could give biotech executives a chance to make a direct pitch for the value of federal medical research funding, something they've wanted to do ever since President Trump's budget proposed a nearly 20 percent cut in NIH funding.

Who's coming: Vice President Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, HHS Secretary Tom Price, and NIH Director Francis Collins, among others.

Not mentioned: Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney, the main advocate of the NIH cuts.

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.