U.S. life expectancy dropped a full year in the first half of 2020, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Life expectancy declined to 77.8 years, the lowest it has been since 2006. Experts cited COVID-19 as the primary driver of the downward trend. (CNN)

President Joe Biden has nominated Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Brooks-LaSure previously worked as a senior CMS official during the Obama administration. (The Washington Post)

Eli Lilly announced a new collaboration with Rigel to develop therapies for neurodegeneration and inflammatory conditions. The two organizations will compete with Sanofi and Denali on therapies that target the RIPK1 protein. (Endpoints News)

Virtual clinical studies have blossomed during the pandemic. With universities closed and hospitals focused on COVID-19, scientists have found ways to bring clinical trials out of the lab and into people’s homes. (The New York Times)

The catastrophic winter storm in Texas has not only caused power outages, but also delayed COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Dr. Anthony Fauci noted that vaccine distribution has “been slowed down in some places … to a grinding halt.” (Reuters)