Dec 26, 2017

Salt Lake Tribune urges Hatch to retire

Sen. Orrin Hatch released an ACA proposal. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Utah's most prominent newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, denounced Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in a blistering editorial published on Christmas Day, urging him not to seek re-election and accusing him of having an "utter lack of integrity."

The backdrop: Many Republicans assumed Hatch would retire at the end of this term, his 7th in the Senate, but President Trump has encouraged him to run again in 2018. It has been long rumored that Mitt Romney will run if Hatch decides to retire.

Key points: The paper, which named Hatch "Utahn of the Year," took issue with his role in advancing the GOP's sweeping tax bill, and aiding in Trump's "dramatic dismantling" of the state's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

  • The paper's editorial board wrote that reducing the monuments' size "by some 90 percent has no constitutional, legal or environmental logic," later adding that this "anti-environmental, anti-Native American and, yes, anti-business decommissioning of national monuments was basically a political favor the White House did for Hatch."
  • The editorial board said if Hatch runs for re-election, after he previously promised to step down, it would amount to "a theft from the Utah electorate."
  • They wrote that the senator "stared down a generation or two of highly qualified political leaders who were fully qualified to take his place."

The senator did not acknowledge the paper's criticism of him on Twitter. Instead, he thanked the paper for the "honor." That response left some on Twitter asking if he had actually read the scathing editorial. In a tweet hours later, he posted a recent editorial in support of the tax bill.

Go deeper

LATAM Airlines files for U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy

A LATAM air attendant aboard one of the company's planes in March. Photo: Kike Calvo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

LATAM Airlines Group SA said in a statement early Tuesday the firm and its affiliates in in the United States, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Why it matters: Latam is Latin America's largest airline and its shareholders include Delta Air Lines. CEO Roberto Alvo noted in the statement the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the airline industry.

Novavax starts human trials for coronavirus vaccine

Novavax's Nita Patel with a computer model showing the protein structure of a potential coronavirus vaccine at the lab in Gaithersburg, Maryland in March. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Novavax began clinical trials of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus in Australia on Tuesday, per a statement from the Maryland-based biotechnology firm.

The state of play: 131 volunteers in the Australian cities of Melbourne and Brisbane will undergo injections as part of the study, the company’s research chief Gregory Glenn said during a briefing, per Australian Associated Press.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,495,061 — Total deaths: 346,232 — Total recoveries — 2,231,738Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,662,302 — Total deaths: 98,220 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy