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A prestigious private girls’ school, which asked former pupils to contribute to a drama project about sexual harassment inspired by the #MeToo campaign, has found itself at the centre of historical allegations of sexual abuse.
St Paul’s Girls’ school in west London contacted former pupils, known as Old Paulinas (OPs), inviting them to help the drama department create a piece of documentary theatre about sexual harassment to take to the Edinburgh festival fringe next year.
Sally Weale Education correspondent
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The former state Supreme Court justice had already been accused by four women of pursuing romantic relationships with them when he was in his 30s and they were teens, including one who said he initiated sexual contact. A fifth woman has now also accused Moore of sexual assaulting her when she was a teen. Some Alabama residents have said it was “common knowledge” that he pursued teens.
Moore denies the allegations and has said he intends to continue running.
So far, Moore has few defenders among Republicans currently serving in the Senate. But lawmakers have taken varying stances on how far they’d go to oppose his election, from saying he should drop out if the allegations are true. to withdrawing their endorsement, to recommending he be expelled from the Senate if elected.
No current Republican senator has called for Moore to stay in the race.
Here’s a roundup of how all 52 Republican senators have responded.
No comment about Roy Moore: Sens. Tom Cotton, Mike Crapo, Deb Fischer and John Kennedy
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (Pool)
Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Deb Fischer of Nebraska and John Kennedy of Louisiana have not yet commented, according to a roundup by ABC News.
Not withdrawing his endorsement of Moore: Sen. Rand Paul
Getty Images)Sen. Rand Paul (Getty Images)
Rand Paul of Kentucky, who endorsed Moore, is the only Republican senator who has not yet withdrawn his endorsement. Paul was seriously injured earlier this month after an attack by a neighbor. He has not made any comment yet.
Saying Moore’s fate is up to the voters: Sen. Luther Strange
Sen. Luther Strange (CQ-Roll Call)
Luther Strange of Alabama, who lost to Moore in the primary, said: “These allegations are very serious. We learned more today. It’s really going to be up to the people of my state to try to make sense of this and decide how they want to proceed.”
Senator Luther Strange (R-AL) on Roy Moore: “The facts are unfolding. These allegations are very serious. It’s really going to be up to the people of my state to try to make sense of this and decide how they want to proceed.”
— Walt Cronkite (@WCronkite) November 14, 2017
Calling for Moore to withdraw if the allegations are true: Sen. Marco Rubio and 24 others
Sen. Marco Rubio (Alex Brandon—AP)
Marco Rubio of Florida: “Today’s report in The Washington Post raises allegations against Mr. Moore that are deeply disturbing and, if true, disqualifying.”
Richard Burr of North Carolina: “If any aspect of The Washington Post story is true, he should do the right thing and withdraw.”
Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia: “If the allegations reported in The Washington Post are true, Roy Moore should immediately step aside.”
Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: “If these disturbing allegations are true, Roy Moore should withdraw from the Senate race.”
John Barrasso of Wyoming: “These charges seem very credible, they’re very disturbing. If true, he should move aside.”
John Boozman of Arkansas: “He believes that if the allegations are true, Roy Moore should step aside — no ifs, and/or buts about it.”
Roy Blunt of Missouri: “The women have a more credible story than Judge Moore. Alabama voters should have a better choice and Judge Moore should have better answers to these charges.”
Mike Enzi of Wyoming: “Sen. Enzi does believe that if the allegations are true that Roy Moore should step aside from the race.”
Similar statements have been made by Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, Kansas Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts, Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Georgia Sen. David Perdue, Idaho Sen. James Risch, South Dakota Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, and Mississippi Sens. Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, according to the roundup by ABC News.
Withdrawing their endorsements of Moore: Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Mike Lee, Bill Cassidy and Steve Daines
Sen. Ted Cruz (CQ Roll Call)
Ted Cruz of Texas: “I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain unrefuted. Both last week and this week, there are serious charges of criminal conduct that, if true, not only make him unfit to serve in the Senate but merit criminal prosecution.”
“As it stands, I can’t urge the people of Alabama to support a campaign in the face of these charges without serious, persuasive demonstration that the charges are not true,” Cruz told reporters about the Moore election.
— Claire Allbright (@claireallbright) November 14, 2017
Texas Sen. John Cornyn: “I believe the accusations against Roy Moore are disturbing and, if true, disqualifying. The most appropriate course of action, in my view, is to leave the final judgment in the hands of Alabama voters — where it has always belonged — and withdraw my endorsement.”
John Cornyn withdraws his support of Roy Moore. http://pic.twitter.com/CmCzqf4rsF
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 13, 2017
Mike Lee of Utah: “Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate.”
Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) November 10, 2017
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana: “Based on the allegations against Roy Moore, his response and what is known, I withdraw support.”
Based on the allegations against Roy Moore, his response and what is known, I withdraw support.
— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) November 12, 2017
Steve Daines of Montana: “I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.”
I am pulling my endorsement and support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate.
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) November 10, 2017
Calling for Moore to withdraw: Sen. Mitch McConnell and seven others
Sen. Mitch McConnell (Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “I believe the women … he should step aside.”
BREAKING: Senate leader Mitch McConnell says he believes women who have accused Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual contact, says Moore “should step aside.”
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 13, 2017
John McCain of Arizona: “The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”
The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) November 9, 2017
Susan Collins of Maine: “I have now read Mr. Moore’s statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. I did not find his denials to be convincing and believe that he should withdraw from the Senate race in Alabama.”
I have now read Mr. Moore’s statement and listened to his radio interview in which he denies the charges. I did not find his denials to be convincing and believe that he should withdraw from the Senate race in Alabama.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) November 13, 2017
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina: “In light of the most recent allegations and the cumulative effect of others, I believe #RoyMoore would be doing himself, the state, the GOP, and the country a service by stepping aside.”
In light of the most recent allegations and the cumulative effect of others, I believe #RoyMoore would be doing himself, the state, the GOP, and the country a service by stepping aside.
If he continues this will not end well for Mr. Moore.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) November 13, 2017
Chuck Grassley of Iowa: “He should step aside. The trouble is, if he agreed to step aside, his name is still on the ballot. People can still vote for him and he could get elected.”
Bob Corker of Tennessee: “Look, I’m sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore’s nomination was a bridge too far.”
Look, I’m sorry, but even before these reports surfaced, Roy Moore’s nomination was a bridge too far.
— Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker) November 11, 2017
Thom Tillis of North Carolina: “The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness for office. He should immediately withdraw from the race.”
The allegations leveled at Roy Moore are disturbing. I have serious concerns about his prior conduct and fitness for office. He should immediately withdraw from the race.
— Senator Thom Tillis (@SenThomTillis) November 13, 2017
Rob Portman of Ohio: “I think if what we read is true, and people are on the record so I assume it is, then he should step aside.”
Rob Portman on Roy Moore:
“I think if what we read is true, and people are on the record so I assume it is, then he should step aside.”
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) November 9, 2017
Recommending Alabama write-in someone else: Sens. Orrin Hatch, Pat Toomey and Ben Sasse
Sen. Orrin Hatch (Reuters)
Orrin Hatch of Utah: “These are serious and disturbing accusations, and while the decision is now in the hands of the people of Alabama, I believe Luther Strange is an excellent alternative.”
I stand with the Majority Leader on this. These are serious and disturbing accusations, and while the decision is now in the hands of the people of Alabama, I believe Luther Strange is an excellent alternative. https://t.co/L7IallXhBc
— Orrin Hatch (@OrrinHatch) November 13, 2017
Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania: “From my point of view, you know, I have to say, I think the accusations have more credibility than the denial. I think it would be best if Roy would just step aside.”
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is calling for Roy Moore to “step aside,” suggests Luther Strange as a potential write-in candidate. https://t.co/hwsF7j90Xc
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 12, 2017
Ben Sasse of Nebraska: “The Post’s story is appalling and heartbreaking. If there’s an ounce of truth to any of this, Roy Moore has no place in public life and ought to drop out immediately. Alabamians should start thinking about who they’ll write in but it’s obvious that conservatives deserve better than this.”
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) November 10, 2017
Recommending Alabama vote for Democrat Doug Jones instead of Moore: Sen. Jeff Flake
Sen. Jeff Flake (Getty Images)
Jeff Flake of Arizona: “If this choice is between Roy Moore and a Democrat, a Democrat. … I would literally — if I were in Alabama — I would run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat.”
Just to be clear. If the choice is between Roy Moore and a Democrat, I would run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat https://t.co/Ec96HRt228
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) November 13, 2017
Calling to remove Moore from the Senate if he’s elected: Sens. Cory Gardner and Todd Young
Sen. Cory Gardner (CQ-Roll Call)
Cory Gardner of Colorado: “If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”
Read my latest statement on Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election:https://t.co/rilQfqiJ9Z http://pic.twitter.com/GQvsGhbnYA
— Cory Gardner (@CoryGardner) November 13, 2017
Todd Young of Indiana: “The appearance of grossly reprehensible behavior disqualifies him from service in the United States Senate. If he does not step aside, we need to act to protect the integrity of the Senate.”
The appearance of grossly reprehensible behavior disqualifies him from service in the United States Senate. If he does not step aside, we need to act to protect the integrity of the Senate (2/2)
— Senator Todd Young (@SenToddYoung) November 13, 2017
Ryan Teague Beckwith
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Lilly is one of three drug companies targeted by a class-action lawsuit which accuses the company, then under Azar’s watch, of exploiting the drug pricing system to ensure higher profits for insulin and has been fined in Mexico for colluding on the drug’s pricing.
Azar, who spent almost a decade at Eli Lilly, rising to become president of the drug giant’s U.S. operations before leaving earlier this year, doesn’t deny drug costs are a consumer issue. But his record there and as a top official in George W. Bush’s administration suggests he’s unlikely to push pricing policies that would hit pharmaceutical companies’ pocketbooks.
In recent years, Azar has defended pricing practices, and argued against the approaches to reduce consumer costs that Trump endorsed during his campaign, such as allowing the government to negotiate drug prices and importing medicines from oversees.
Instead, Azar has followed the pharma messaging playbook on drug pricing — deflecting attention to other parts of the health system, and even other countries, blaming them for the high drug costs paid by U.S. patients. He’s also justified drug prices as the cost of innovation.
Azar’s nomination signals the status quo, Eric Assaraf of Cowen Washington Research Group wrote in a note to clients Monday. “Although Trump specifically called out lowering drug prices in his announcement of Azar, we don’t believe his appointment will mark a change in course in that realm.”
Trump’s focus on drug pricing in announcing Azar’s nomination didn’t win over doubters, who no longer believe he is serious about going after the industry he once slammed as “getting away with murder.” But it will make it easier for critics to pounce on what will likely be the toughest barrier for Azar to overcome during his confirmation process in the Senate.
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday he will “vigorously oppose” the nomination of the Azar.
“During Mr. Azar’s tenure at Eli Lilly, this multi-billion-dollar corporation dodged taxes while charging Americans outrageously high prices for life-saving prescription drugs,” Sanders said.
Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings commenced an investigation into Eli Lilly’s rising prices for insulin last year, spurring attorneys generals in Washington and New Mexico to look into the matter. The lawmakers questioned why the prices of the diabetes medicine whose main patent expired 75 years ago have seen huge jumps in recent years, with competitors often raising prices in tandem. One of Eli Lilly’s insulins, Humulin R U-500, rose 325 percent in price from 2010 to 2015.
Cummings tweeted that picking Azar is “like a fox guarding the hen house,” and a “slap in the face,” to Americans waiting for action on lower drug prices.
“I have often said that the pharmaceutical industry owns Washington,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on the Senate floor Monday. “Now with this action today they are actually running it.”
Azar contends the outrage over drug pricing “erupted because we have seen a complete fundamental restructuring of health insurance,” with a shift to high-deductible plans that puts the burden of drug costs on employees and individuals, he said at a conference in May.
While Azar makes a valid point, changing insurance policies without addressing drugmakers’ markups of existing drug prices, or high launch prices for new medicines, “is avoiding the elephant in the room.” said Ameet Sarpatwari, who studies drug prices at Harvard Medical School.
Even Azar acknowledged in his speech that if insurance companies reduced consumers’ out of pocket charges for medicines, those costs would show up elsewhere, likely in premium increases.
Azar has also attacked government regulators and payers for devaluing pharmaceutical innovation, suggesting that if the U.S. cuts pharma profits, it will see decreased investment in new drugs and fewer new cures.
“The narrow focus of costs of medicine to the exclusion of innovation would be self-defeating in the long run,” Azar said in a 2014 speech.
Sarpatwari worries such views will lead Azar to promote the idea that making it quicker and easier for drug makers to introduce new medicines will reduce pharmaceutical costs. Researchers have found that drug companies don’t price their products any cheaper when FDA lets them use the accelerated approval process or other tactics to speed drugs to market. Former FDA Commissioner Robert Califf recently said that despite claims by the Trump administration that faster drug approvals lead to lower cost drugs, there is no direction relationship between the cost of development and price of drugs.
Nonetheless, in June, Azar told Fox Business that getting more new drugs to market to increase competition among brands would help bring U.S. prices down. Yet there’s only one example the drug industry can point to in the U.S. where brand competition has led to lower prices — and many where competitors simply raise prices in tandem. For example, Democrats recently launched a probe into the rising price of multiple sclerosis drugs where drugs introduced decades ago have raised prices to match their newer competitors.
And while Azar expresses support for competition, one of the major factors keeping generic versions of insulin off the market have been drug company tactics known as evergreening — making incremental tweaks to their insulin versions or the devices that deliver it, to extend their monopolies for decades.
An article published in The Lancet in late 2015 found that most of the recent innovation in the insulin market has centered on improvements in delivery devices, blocking generics by agents that are indirectly related to the drug.
Azar has also opposed other ideas to encourage competitive drug pricing. He’s spoken out against studies known as comparative effectiveness research, used to determine which drugs are most cost-effective for treating patients with a disease. He argues that all options should be available since different patients may need different medicines. The problem however, is that if payers must make all drugs available, they have little leverage to negotiate lower drug prices with industry.
The result is that despite Trump’s tweets praising Azar as a champion for lower costs, few fighting for lower drug prices are pinning their hopes on action by Azar.
“This nominee has impeccable big pharma credentials but non-existent credentials when it comes to concerns on drug prices,” said Peter Welch, co-chair of the House Democrats Drug Pricing Task Force.
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