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Orrin Hatch Would Like You To Know He's Still Alive

Sen. Orrin Hatch's social media team offered many examples of "proof of life" on Monday night.
Chip Somodevilla
Getty Images
Sen. Orrin Hatch's social media team offered many examples of "proof of life" on Monday night.

Scroll through Orrin Hatch's Twitter feed and you'll see fairly routine tweets from the Republican senator from Utah: support for President Trump's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, and promotion of legislation Hatch backs.

But late Monday evening, Hatch's official Twitter account posted a tweet to Google, saying, "We might need to talk."

Turns out, any curious constituent Googling the senator on Tuesday morning would have found that one of the top Google search results said Hatch had been dead since Sept. 11, 2017.

That's when the fun began for Hatch's social media team members, who realized it wouldn't be enough to just point out the fatal (or not, pun intended) error.

Because what good is a claim that Hatch was alive without proof?

The evidence came pouring in, one tweet at a time.

Exhibit A: The senator reading a newspaper:

Signing some bills:

The account linked to full interviews that Hatch did recently — calling them "proof of life."

It continued.

The account tweeted videos calling the senator "very much alive."

While the tweets didn't come directly from Hatch himself — he signs his original tweets "ogh" — Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock says there is a "clever, nimble communications team that works hard to keep up with the senator's own trademark sense of humor and wit."

That included sharing a photo of the Hatch's birthday celebration in March, where bacon apparently played a significant role.

The social media jabbing continued with a tweet saying that even in death, Hatch "remains one of the Senate's most prolific legislators," including advancing three bills since the Internet pronounced him dead.

Whitlock told NPR that "unconfirmed reports suggest that by 7:30a.m., Hatch had already completed an hour of CrossFit and an hour of miscellaneous sport. When Senator Hatch first heard of his passing he was quite alarmed. Having advanced 4 major bills last night he was surprised to hear that he may have been dead the whole time. After both the Senator and staff confirmed he was in fact alive and not a part of some kind of Sixth Sense phenomenon, he had a good laugh and may have run several miles to celebrate."

Whitlock says his boss felt it was a good opportunity to highlight some of the "great moments" of the last few months of being alive on social media.

While very much among the land of the living, Hatch, 84, is retiring at the end of this term.

Google responded to the tweets Tuesday morning, writing, "You are certainly alive and sporting a great sense of humor. We apologize for the error. We'll have it fixed shortly."

Hatch was very happy to hear it.

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Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.