‘The Rundown’: Sen. Mike Lee investigated whether Pence could declare Trump winner of 2020 election

Plus, Fox News poll shows majority of Americans favor vaccine, mask mandates

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Lee personally investigated whether Pence could hand 2020 election to Trump

According to a new book, Sen. Mike Lee looked into a theory that former Vice President Mike Pence could simply declare former President Donald Trump the winner of the 2020 election.

Lee’s role in the aftermath of the 2020 election is detailed in “Peril,” the new book from reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

The Washington Post reports Lee received a confidential memo from the White House claiming Pence could simply give the election to Trump because a handful of states Joe Biden won had submitted dueling slates of electors to Congress. The memo claimed Pence could set those states aside and only count the remaining electors, which would give Trump the victory.

Lee was reportedly “surprised” by the theory circulated by Trump supporters, but he made “phone call after phone call” to officials in several of those states. According to Lee, none of those states were ready to certify alternate electors, which ended the gambit.

Lee ultimately voted to certify Biden’s win.

Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning

🚨 BREAKING OVERNIGHT: Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children between 5-11 years old and generates a substantial immune response. The company will seek emergency authorization for the use of the vaccine in young children. [WSJ]

🐘 Utah GOP leaders forcefully spoke out against President Joe Biden’s plan to require businesses with 100 employees or more to mandate vaccines or weekly testing for workers. [Tribune]

🏛 Salt Lake City leaders question why the Utah Inland Port Authority is rushing to raise $150 million through a bond issue. Notice of the proposed bond came just 24 hours before a public meeting on the issue. [Tribune]

📊 A third of police shootings in Utah involved racial and ethnic minorities over the last decade, despite those groups making up just a quarter of the population. [Tribune]

⛳️ Former Utah Rep. Mike Noel wants to build a luxury golf course in Kane County to boost tourism. The Kane County Water Conservancy District is backing Noel’s $10 million proposal. [Tribune]

🚰 Utah residents use the most water of any state in the Western U.S. They also pay some of the lowest rates for that water. [Tribune]

🇺🇸 Sen. Mitt Romney says the U.S. is ignoring several big issues, including climate change and rising debt. He also criticized Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s recent flirtation with Hungary’s authoritarian government. [Tribune]

🏛 The Senate parliamentarian blocked Democrats from including immigration reform in their $3.5 trillion budget proposal. [Politico]

🏛The Biden administration is moving the Bureau of Land Management headquarters back to Washington, D.C. The agency’s headquarters were moved to Colorado under former President Trump. [Tribune]

🏈 Worsening wildfire seasons could impact outdoor sports to cancel games, even whole seasons, because of dangerous air quality. [Tribune]

🪧 About 100 protesters in Salt Lake City gathered on Saturday to oppose mask and vaccine mandates. [Tribune]

🗳 Democrat Beto O’Rouke is preparing to launch a run for governor in Texas. [Axios]

⚡️ Natural gas prices are soaring around the globe, but winter is still months away. Experts are blaming low inventory and a switch to renewable energy sources for the spike in prices. [WSJ]

🇨🇦 Voters in Canada go to the polls today to vote in a snap election. [Al Jazeera]

Majorities favor mask and vaccine mandates

As Utah Republicans turn up the volume on their opposition to the vaccine plan from the Biden administration, a new poll from Fox News finds a majority of Americans support both mask and vaccine mandates to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The survey found about 3/4ths of Americans (74%) say they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about the coronavirus pandemic. Only inflation was a more significant concern at 82%.

The survey found significant majorities of Americans believe face masks and vaccines effectively stop the spread of the virus. They also favor mask and vaccine mandates.

  • 67% are in favor of mask mandates in schools for students and teachers.

  • 66% say workers and customers in businesses should be required to wear masks.

  • 61% believe teachers should be required to be vaccinated.

  • 58% agree that all government workers should be mandated to get vaccinated.

Strikingly, 56% say they agree with President Biden’s plan to require businesses with 100 or more employees to either require vaccines or testing for workers.

However, Republicans are much more likely to be against masks and vaccines than Democrats or independent voters.

  • Just 46% of Republicans think wearing face coverings is effective at reducing the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Only 41% of Republicans believe businesses should require employees and customers to wear masks.

  • Fewer than 1/3 (31%) of Republicans think businesses should require employees to be vaccinated.

  • 42% of Republicans favor a requirement that students and teachers wear masks in schools, and 37% believe teachers should be required to get vaccinated.

  • 34% of Republicans say COVID vaccines should be required for federal employees, and 32% favor Biden’s plan for vaccines or testing for businesses with 100 or more employees.

There’s one other notable data point from the survey. Support for so-called “vaccine passports” has grown slightly in the past month. In August, half of Americans supported requiring people to show proof of vaccine for indoor activities. That number has increased to 54% in the current survey.

Monday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • Body of Gabby Petito may have been found in Wyoming park where she was last seen. [Tribune]

  • Newly crowned Miss Navajo Nation ‘thrilled’ and ‘humbled’ to become ambassador for her community. [Tribune]

  • Memorial celebrates Utah Marine who died in Afghanistan. [Tribune]

  • Salt Lake City’s pause in trail work disappoints some hikers and bikers. [Tribune]

  • Officers justified in shooting of Pioneer park stabbing suspect, prosecutors say. [Tribune]

  • How do Utahns view the Afghanistan withdrawal? Look to political affiliation. [Deseret News]

  • Mitt Romney, Michael Bennett talk about the future of the Colorado River — from the Colorado River. [Deseret News]


  • When unvaccinated Utahns die, loved ones are left to process blame, defensiveness, and regrets. [Tribune]

  • Which is better: Pfizer or Moderna? Andy Larsen dives into the data with boosters looming. [Tribune]

  • ‘Those are our realities’”: Utah doctor disputes claims that ICU capacity is overblown. [Tribune]


  • Emeritus professor leads latest push to dump BYU’s ‘crazy’ beard ban. [Tribune]

On the editorial pages

  • Utah’s leaders should follow the example of our public colleges and get behind vaccine mandates, the Tribune Editorial Board writes. [Tribune]

  • Shayne Scott: Utah can’t wait for God to solve our water problems. [Tribune]

  • Payden Alder: Your freedom does not allow you to harm others. [Tribune]