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Situational awareness - April 15, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


10 days to the Utah Republican and Democratic state conventions (4/25/2020)

76 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/30/2020)

202 Days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

280 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)

285 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • China didn't inform the public that the coronavirus would likely result in a pandemic for six days in January.
  • Utah schools to remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
  • Thursday's special legislative session will likely be the first of many.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_06.jpgThursday's special session will be the first of many as lawmakers deal with coronavirus pandemic
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Thursday's special legislative session to deal with the coronavirus pandemic will likely be just the first of several special sessions between now and June.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200414_Brad_Wilson.jpgVideo: House Speaker Brad Wilson previews Thursday's special session
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, discusses the issues lawmakers will tackle during Thursday's virtual special session.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_03.jpgBill would require the governor to give lawmakers 48 hour notice before taking some emergency actions
By Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott
While recognizing the independence and authority of the Utah governor in times of pandemics, one of the bills in the Thursday special legislative session says the governor -- in the current case, GOP Gov. Gary Herbert -- will tell legislative leadership about his plans for executive orders two days before issuing them.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast - 'A dream come true'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the latest Utah political news.
images/Shutterstock_article_photos/Classroom.jpgHerbert makes it official. Utah schools will not re-open this year
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah grade schools will not reopen this school year Gov. Gary Herbert said Tuesday afternoon.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_02.jpgAnalysis: Huntsman qualifies for the ballot. What does that mean for the rest of the field?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
So, even though I didn't think his campaign could do it, former GOP Gov. Jon Huntsman qualified via signature-gathering for the Republican Party's primary ballot on Monday -- the last day he could do so.
images/1000px_Mugs/Victor_Iverson_01.jpgHughes taps Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson as his running mate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former House Speaker Greg Hughes picked Victor Iverson, a Washington County Commissioner, to be his Lt. Governor nominee on Tuesday.
images/1000px_Mugs/Chris_Peterson_01.jpgPoll: Chris Peterson leads crowded Democratic field vying for party's nomination for governor
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
University of Utah professor Christopher Peterson leads the six-person Democratic field for governor according to a new poll.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_31.jpgLawmakers will begin online-only special session Thursday morning
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The Utah Legislature will gavel their first-ever online special session to order at 9:00 am on Thursday morning. 
images/1000px_Mugs/Jeff_Burningham_02.jpgBurningham has spent more on advertising than the other Republican candidates for governor combined
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
So far, the seven Republicans vying for their party's nomination for governor have spent nearly $1.3 million on advertising, with more than half of that coming from businessman Jeff Burningham.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_03.jpgHuntsman qualifies for primary ballot
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
On the last day to turn in signatures, former Gov. Jon Huntsman finally qualified for the June primary ballot.
images/1000px_Mugs/Trump_Biden_01.jpgPoll: Trump leads Biden by just 5 points in Utah
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
President Donald Trump leads presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by just 5 percentage points according to a new Utah Political Trends survey.

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The stories everyone will be talking about today

Chinese officials did not warn the public that they were likely facing a pandemic for six days in January [AP].

President Donald Trump halted funding for the World Health Organization over their handling of the coronavirus [CNN].

"We're not there yet"

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday the U.S. does not have the testing and contact tracing procedures it would take to begin restarting the nation's economy [AP].

President Donald Trump is itching to declare the country open by May 1, but it likely will take much longer than that [Washington Post].

Here's why President Trump can't just flip the switch to get the economy moving again [Politico].

The CDC and FEMA have created a plan to re-open America and combat the spread of the coronavirus [Washington Post].

The Great Lockdown

The International Monetary Fund says the global economy will contract by 3 percent in 2020, which is the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression [IMF].

Economic assistance

Congress is coming under pressure as a fund to provide loans to small businesses is almost out of money [Politico].

Major U.S. airlines have accepted the government's terms to tap into billions of dollars in aid and keep thousands of employees on their payrolls [CNN].

Two more years?

Researchers predict that the U.S. may have to continue social distancing measures until 2022 unless a vaccine for the coronavirus becomes quickly available [Bloomberg].

Trump delays some stimulus checks

In an unprecedented move, the Treasury Department is ordering President Trump's name printed on stimulus checks. The move will delay the delivery of the checks by a few days [Washington Post].


A tax change added to the coronavirus relief package by Senate Republicans overwhelmingly benefits taxpayers who earn more than $1 million per year [Washington Post].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Indiana Republican Congressman Trey Hollingsworth said in an interview that letting more Americans die from the coronavirus is the "lesser of two evils" compared to the economic damage caused by the lockdown [CNN].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/EDCUtah_1000.pngThe PPE pivot: Five questions about face shields
One of the more disheartening aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line healthcare workers. Warriors against the virus, these people need more and better facemasks, gowns, and other supplies.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngWTC Utah webinar series: How to: PPP loans for 1099 contractors and sole proprietors
Join WTC Utah, in partnership with Lendio, for a webinar focusing on Paycheck Protection Program Loans. PPP Loans are open for sole proprietors, 1099 contractors and other small business owners, but many are confused about eligibility, owners draw and which lenders will let them apply.
Utah Economic Task Force virtual town hall meeting on April 14
The Utah Economic Task Force will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST to provide an update on the Paycheck Protection Program process and federal stimulus funding, as well as discuss how the outdoor recreation industry is innovating during the pandemic.

More National Headlines


1861 - President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President.

1892 - The General Electric Company is formed.

1922 - Senator John B. Kendrick of Wyoming introduces a resolution calling for an investigation of a secret land deal, which leads to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal.

1923 - Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.

1947 - Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color line.

1955 - McDonald's restaurant dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Wise Words

Know Yourself

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."Marcus Aurelius

Lighter Side


"Easter doesn't feel at all exciting this year, probably because I've spent the last three weeks driving around looking for eggs already."- JIMMY KIMMEL

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