Blankenship at a town hall in Morgantown, WV. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty

Don Blankenship, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in West Virginia, suggested during a radio appearance Monday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell faces a conflict of interest by being married to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao — not because of her Cabinet position, but because her father is "a wealthy Chinaperson," the New York Times reports.

The backdrop: Blankenship, a former coal magnate, was firing back after an attack ad from a super PAC linked to McConnell criticized him for contaminating local drinking water. The purpose of the ad was to aid Blankenship's opponents, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Representative Evan Jenkins, who are more conventional Republican candidates.

“I have an issue when the father-in-law is a wealthy Chinaperson. There’s a lot of connections to some of the brass, if you will, in China."
— Blankenship on 106.3, The River

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Podcasts

The child care tax on America's economy

Child care in the U.S. is in crisis, which makes it much harder for the American economy to recover — as providers struggle to stay in business and parents wrestle with work.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the problems and what can be done to solve them, with Vox senior reporter Anna North.

Viral load is a puzzle in COVID-19

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

How sick a person gets from a virus can depend on how much of the pathogen that person was exposed to and how much virus is replicating in their body — questions that are still open for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: As people try to balance resuming parts of their daily lives with controlling their risk of COVID-19, understanding the role of viral load could help tailor public health measures and patient care.

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m. EST: 32,062,182 — Total deaths: 979,701 — Total recoveries: 22,057,268Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:15 p.m EST: 6,967,103 — Total deaths: 202,558 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  5. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  6. Sports: Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  7. Science: During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!