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Scott Pruitt testifying before the House Energy and Commerce committee. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was given aid in acquiring tickets to the Rose Bowl in January from the chief of a public relations firm based in Oklahoma, according to a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Why it matters: This is another allegation of an ethical lapse for Pruitt in a saga that keeps building. Republican lawmakers are growing tired of Pruitt's scandalous allegations, including President Trump.

The details: Cummings wrote to Renzi Stone, head of communications firm Saxum, requesting information on Stone helping Pruitt acquire tickets to the game on New Year's Day.

  • Milan Hupp, Pruitts former director of scheduling, told House oversight staff members that Stone provided Pruitt's family with tickets, Cummings said in the letter.

The backdrop: Saxum represented Plains All American Pipeline, which is currently petitioning the EPA to discharge hydrostatic test water from a Texas pipeline, reports the Washington Post.

Plains All American Pipeline's association with Saxum ended in November 2017, a spokesman told Axios, and "was limited to Oklahoma-based public relations support for a pipeline construction project."

Go deeper

Scoop: USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

4 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.