Alex Brandon / AP

The White House hosted a discussion this morning on the importance of biomedical research, which quickly turned into a pushback against proposed funding cuts. National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins led the meeting, which began with a quick speech by Vice President Pence and ended with President Trump inviting everyone for a quick visit to the Oval Office, per an administration official.

Who was there: General Atlantic CEO Bill Ford, Dr. Craig Thompson of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cornelia Bargmann of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and executives from Regeneron and Celgene. HHS Secretary Tom Price, VA Secretary David Shulkin, and Ivanka Trump were there, too.

The bottom line: Collins told CNBC afterwards that they didn't discuss drug prices, but spent a lot of time talking about the Trump administration's proposed cuts in NIH funding. "Some have argued maybe we don't need the government involved in research," Collins said. "The companies, one by one, unanimously said, 'That won't work.' They count on NIH to fund the basic science."

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Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 10,902,347 — Total deaths: 521,940 — Total recoveries — 5,777,662Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 2,739,879 — Total deaths: 128,740 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Regeneron stops trial after drug fails to help patientsWhat we know about the coronavirus immune response — Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Business: Top business leaders urge the White House to develop mandatory mask guidelines.
  5. Politics: Herman Cain hospitalized for COVID-19 after attending Trump Tulsa rally — Biden downplays jobs number, rebukes Trump for ignoring health crisis.
  6. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  7. States: Texas mandates face masks in public spaces Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.

Markets swell as the economy shrinks

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The economy is sputtering, but the markets are thriving — a highly unusual event that shows how the coronavirus has thrown all bets off.

Why it matters: The disconnect adds to the wealth gap. The richest 10% of households — who own 84% of stocks — are getting richer, while millions of out-of-work Americans cross their fingers that pandemic unemployment benefits will be extended.

13 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Coronavirus surges mark a "very disturbing week" in the U.S.

Fauci testifies to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told medical journal JAMA on Thursday that it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

What's happening: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.