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Situational awareness - April 24, 2020

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City


The Utah Republican and Democratic state conventions are tomorrow (4/25/2020)

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

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

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

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

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

  • President Trump stunned many when he suggested sunlight or injecting disinfectants could cure the coronavirus.
  • Utah lawmakers allocate more than $4 billion in coronavirus aid.
  • Experts say unemployment could be more than 20 percent.


Today's bit of paronomasia comes from Kari Malkovitch.

"What makes Utah's state capital uniquely different from any other state capital in the United States?"

If you think you know the answer (I've already given you a hint), send your guesses to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com.

The winner will be randomly selected from the correct answers.

Good luck!

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_09.jpgLawmakers allocate more than $4 billion in coronavirus relief funds during special session
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Utah lawmakers allocated billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds during Thursday afternoon's special session, most of it going toward the state's unemployment insurance fund. But, they're preparing for the economic pain that's sure to come.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_08.jpgLawmakers seek to shield businesses from some COVID-19-related lawsuits
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lawmakers want businesses to re-open amid the coronavirus pandemic without fear of being sued if their customers or workers catch the virus.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_07.jpgLawmakers reach compromise with the governor on bill requiring notification of emergency actions
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
A Utah governor would have to tell lawmakers about any emergency order he or she issues during a pandemic 24 hours before it takes effect, under an agreement reached between GOP Gov. Gary Herbert and Republican legislative leaders.
images/1000px_Mugs/Ben_McAdams_02.jpgRepublicans lead on generic congressional ballot in Utah, but not in the 4th District
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
More good news for freshman Democratic U.S. House Rep. Ben McAdams: A new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News poll shows in his 4th District the votes are split evenly between a possible Democratic candidate and a Republican candidate.
images/1000px_Mugs/Greg_Hughes_03.jpgInterview with Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Hughes
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former House Speaker Greg Hughes discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way he is running his campaign for governor.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Healthy_Together_Utah_04.jpgUtah unveils new app to help with COVID-19 tracing
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah officials rolled out a new contact tracing smartphone app that will assist the state in tracking and slowing the spread of COVID-19.
images/1000px_Mugs/John_Curtis_01.jpegRep. John Curtis has a sizable lead in 3rd District race
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
U.S. Rep. John Curtis is well on his way to re-election this year, a new UtahPolicy.com and KUTV 2News poll shows.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_09.jpgRight-wing social media freakout could kill a bill putting restrictions on local emergency orders
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A misreading of one line in a bill to put restrictions on local governments during public emergencies led to a public freakout among some right-wing elements in Utah, and now the bill is in jeopardy.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_05.jpgHerbert calls for second special session beginning Thursday
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Wanting to get in on all this special legislative session stuff, Gov. Gary Herbert Tuesday afternoon called a special session for Thursday on his own.

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Bad medicine

President Donald Trump stunned many when he asked his medical experts to study if sunlight or injecting disinfectants could kill viruses [BBC].

The company that makes Lysol and other disinfecting products issued a statement on Thursday pleading with Americans not to inject their products into the human body [Bloomberg].

Unemployment could be 20 percent

More than 4 million people applied for jobless benefits last week, pushing the five-week total to more than 26 million. Experts say U.S. unemployment is already around 20 percent and could go higher [Bloomberg].

Financial fallout

State and local governments are being walloped by the economic downturn from the coronavirus, and many are cutting budgets and staff [CNN].

New home sales plunge 15.4 percent in March [AP].

The Gap is running out of money and stopped paying rent for their stores in April [CNN].

Nursing homes are asking states for immunity from COVID-19-related civil suits after more than 10,000 residents have died from the virus nationwide [NPR].

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is considering the creation of a government lending program for struggling U.S. oil companies [Bloomberg].

Food supply breaking

Farmers in America are starting to destroy their pigs after several processing plants have closed amid the coronavirus pandemic [Bloomberg].

Trump stewing

President Donald Trump is reportedly bingeing on cable news and junk food while growing increasingly upset with how he is being portrayed in news coverage during the pandemic [New York Times].

Flood the zone

Several of President Trump's political employees pressured U.S. health officials to "flood" New York and New Jersey with millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus [Vanity Fair].


Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden predicted Thursday that President Trump will try to push back the presidential election in November. "Mark my words, I think he is gonna...come up with some rationale why it can't be held," he said [Daily Beast].

Pressuring the Postal Service

The Treasury Department is considering taking control over some key operations of the U.S. Postal Service as part of a $10 billion bailout loan for the financially strapped agency [Washington Post].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngNews release: Volunteers help Utah businesses navigate federal resources to mitigate COVID-19
The flood of new programs and resources from D.C. are critical for small business owners to understand, but with the volume and number of changes, that is easier said than done. One volunteer organization in Utah is making a difference for those who need financial assistance to keep their businesses and pay their employees.
Utahns Against Hunger surveys food pantries, identifies critical needs
In response to increased demand for emergency food because of the economic downturn and stay-at-home order, Utahns Against Hunger surveyed pantries across the state of Utah. During the month of April, UAH heard from 77 organizations of the more than 120 organizations with a food pantry, representing approximately 95 pantry sites.
Michael Akerlow appointed to FHLB Des Moines Advisory Council
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLB Des Moines or the Bank) Board of Directors recently appointed Michael Akerlow, chief executive officer, Community Development Corporation of Utah (CDCU), to its Affordable Housing Advisory Council (Advisory Council), representing the state of Utah.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgWebinar: Creating a safe and healthy work environment plan
Join the Salt Lake Chamber, University of Utah Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health and WCF Insurance for a webinar to help you create a safe and healthy work environment plan on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.
Over $500,000 in bridge loans awarded to Washington County small businesses
The Greater Together Small Business Resilience Fund, a partnership between county and city officials, the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce and private industry, announced that 36 Washington County based small businesses have been awarded zero percent interest bridge loans totaling $517,500.

More National Headlines


1704 - The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.

1800 - The U.S. Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress."

1967 - Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland says in a news conference that the enemy had "gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily."

1980 - Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue 52 U.S. embassy staff held captive in Tehran, ends with the death of eight servicemen when a helicopter crashed into a transport aircraft.

1990 - The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

2005 - Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Catholic Church taking the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Wise Words


"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see."C. S. Lewis

Lighter Side


"Big news in New York, where yesterday the governor announced an executive order that requires everyone in the state to wear a mask in public when not social distancing. It's a big change for all New Yorkers, except Jets fans."- STEPHEN COLBERT, alongside a photo of Jets fans covering their faces

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