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WASHINGTON — Janet Woodcock, one of the FDA’s most powerful regulators, has an almost mythic reputation and an outsized personality to match. For years, rumors have swirled: Who could possibly succeed her?

Now, it seems, there’s an answer to that question: The FDA official who has been tapped to step into Woodcock’s role for at least a temporary stint is a relative newcomer — and until now, a relatively quiet, low-profile presence at an agency that has been thrust into the spotlight amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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