Tom Price listens to Vice President Mike Pence speak during a meeting on healthcare reform. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken "a sharp departure" from his most recent predecessors in private charter plane use, taking at least 24 taxpayer-funded flights totaling over $300,000, according to Politico.

HHS spokesperson Charmain Yoest said: "The Secretary has taken commercial flights for official business...He has used charter aircraft for official business in order to accommodate his demanding schedule. The week of September 13 was one of those times."

But, Politico found at least 17 flights before that week "that did not appear to be for urgent HHS public health priorities."

Why it matters: The flights are funded by taxpayer dollars. And, while Senate Republicans and President Trump are "frantically rallying support to pass an Obamacare repeal bill," a White House official says Price is "nowhere to be found," and many of these trips "aren't related to priorities like Obamacare repeal."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 20,620,847 — Total deaths: 748,416— Total recoveries: 12,770,718Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 5,197,000 — Total deaths: 166,026 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi says Mnuchin told her White House is "not budging" on stimulus position.
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America's two-sided COVID-19 response America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Bob Woodward's new book details letters between Trump and Kim Jong-un

Bob Woodward during a 2019 event in Los Angele. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Journalist Bob Woodward has obtained "25 personal letters exchanged" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his new book, "Rage," publisher Simon & Schuster revealed on Wednesday.

Details: In the letters, "Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a 'fantasy film,' as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet," according to a description of the book posted on Amazon.

Dozens of Confederate symbols removed in wake of George Floyd's death

A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, in June. Photo: Parker Michels-Boyce/AFP via Getty Images

59 Confederate symbols have been removed, relocated or renamed since anti-racism protests began over George Floyd's death, a new Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) report finds.

Why it matters: That's a marked increase on previous years, per the report, which points out just 16 Confederate monuments were affected in 2019.