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‘The Rundown’: Too little, too late? Sen. Lee urges Utahns to get vaccinated

Your Tuesday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Lee urges Utahns to get vaccinated

On Monday, Sen. Mike Lee took to Twitter and joined a growing number of Republicans encouraging Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Your medical decisions are private...and they’re personal choices to be made by you in consultation with your doctor,” Lee said in a video posted online.

The Tribune’s Robert Gehrke pointed out on Twitter that Lee’s vaccine announcement came just a few hours before joining fellow Republicans Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley in a “friend of the court” brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Sometimes irony is so...ironic.

Despite the logical about-face, Lee’s push for people to roll up their sleeves and get the shot comes as the Delta variant of COVID is causing another wave of infection. The number of cases has nearly tripled over the last two weeks, mostly among the unvaccinated.

“This isn’t always an easy decision, and we should all be gracious to those around us who may decide to do differently than we do,” Lee said. Those comments appear to be directed at those refusing to get the vaccine, either because of misinformation or personal unease.

“I encourage you to talk to your doctor and determine the best course of action for you and your family,” Lee said.

Lee’s video may be too little, too late. A new poll found most Americans who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to do so.

Lee was diagnosed with COVID in October of last year. He said he decided to get the jab after consulting with his doctor. He added vaccines should not be mandatory.


Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

🚨 Breaking overnight: U.S. gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the gymnastics team finals due to an apparent injury. [USA Today]

Utah news

  • Sen. Mike Lee joined two Republican colleagues in calling on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. [Tribune]

  • Rep. Blake Moore failed to disclose up to $1.1 million in stock trades and was fined by the House Ethics Committee. [Tribune]

  • Cedar City’s Mayor declared a state of emergency due to “extensive” flood damage caused by torrential rain on Monday. [Tribune]

  • Moab’s housing crunch is making it more difficult to help homeless people get away from a life on the streets. [Tribune]

  • Alaska’s Attorney General condemned racists and sexist tweets coming from a #DezNat-related Twitter handle allegedly operated by an assistant in his office. [Tribune]

National news

  • The committee investigating the January 6 insurrection holds its first meeting today. Capitol Police officers who defended Congress from a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters will tell their stories. [Politico]

  • The bipartisan infrastructure funding proposal is on the brink of collapse as talks broke down Monday night. [Politico]

  • The V.A. is requiring vaccines for all employees who provide direct patient care. [NYT]

  • New York City will require all municipal employees, including teachers and police officers, to get the coronavirus vaccine or face weekly testing at their own expense. [AP]

  • California says health workers must be vaccinated or tested regularly. [LA Times]

  • The Justice Department said Monday federal law does not prohibit vaccine requirements. [CNN]

  • Leading medical groups say vaccines should be mandatory for all health care workers. [NBC News]

  • Global supply lines are facing disruptions as COVID-19 hits workers and producers in foreign countries hard. [WaPo]

  • The Biden Administration said Americans with long-term COVID symptoms might qualify for disability benefits. [Axios]

  • Despite pleas from the tourism industry, the U.S. will keep COVID-related travel restrictions in place. [CNN]

  • The White House is considering a return to mask mandates in some states amid a resurgence of COVID infections. [Politico]

  • Unemployment fraud exploded during the pandemic. Experts are calling it one of the largest waves of fraud in history. [ProPublica]

  • Former Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming died after sustaining injuries in a bicycling accident. [WaPo]

  • U.S. home sales hit a 14-month low mostly due to many home buyers fighting over a limited number of available homes. [Reuters]

  • What the what? A Michigan lawmaker reported spending $221 of campaign funds at a strip club. The money was for a “constituent meeting” to discuss “potential economic projects.” [Detroit News]


Tuesday’s Utah news roundup

Utah

  • Here’s what you said would improve the lives of Utah women. [Tribune]

  • Can science prevent wildfires? Utah GOP Rep. Blake Moore wants to try. [Deseret News]

  • Judge tosses citizen referendum lawsuit. [Fox 13]

  • Utah asks for multi-million dollar grant lawsuit to be dismissed. [Fox 13]

  • U of U Police pledge to hire more women by 2030. [Fox 13]

COVID-19

  • Utah reports nine more COVID-19 deaths and 2,269 new cases in the past four days. [Tribune]

  • Utah hospitals feeling strain of COVID-19 surge, a Logan doctor says. [Tribune]

  • Why breakthrough COVID-19 cases could start infecting vaccinated Utahns. [Deseret News]

  • Why these federal employees are required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. [Deseret News]

  • Masks Required: UTA riders not following mask guidelines. [ABC 4]

  • 2 Utah senators named in campaign finance complaint, but is there evidence of wrongdoing? [KUTV]

Environment

  • Smoke affecting Utah should start moving out by Tuesday. [Tribune]

  • How extreme heat and drought fueled a deadly dust storm. [Deseret News]

Local government

  • Heber City Police chief placed on leave amid investigation. [Fox 13]

On the opinion pages

  • Utah’s children can handle the truth of American history, George Pyle writes. [Tribune]

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