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Situational awareness - April 29, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • The number of deaths in the U.S. from coronavirus has surpassed the death toll from the Vietnam War.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says some businesses will be allowed to reopen on Friday.
  • Utahns give the Legislature high job performance ratings.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgUtah voters give lawmakers good job performance ratings
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Most Utahns approve of the job the Utah Legislature did during its 2020 general session, which ended in early March, a recent poll by UtahPolicy.com and KUTV 2News finds.
images/1000px_Mugs/20200428_Herbert_Presser.jpgUtah will allow some businesses to reopen on Friday
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Tuesday that the state would begin lifting coronavirus restrictions and allow some businesses to reopen beginning on Friday.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast - 'Terrible Twitter takes'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The June primary election lineups are set, mostly. Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the top Utah political news headlines.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_10.jpgGov. Herbert announces 'A Mask for Every Utahn" project
By News Release
Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer J. Cox announced 'A Mask for Every Utahn,' a public-private partnership to provide a free face mask to Utahns who don't have one. Masks, along with social distancing, will play an important role as more people return to work and everyday activities, and we all work to reactivate the Utah economy.
images/Resized_Mugshots/Derek_Monson_01.jpegGuest opinion: Pandemic budget losses are painful but offer opportunity
By Derek Monson
Utah lawmakers just appropriated $4 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds, with some strings attached. But they are still likely to have to fill large budget gaps caused by the dramatic economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_41.jpgPoll: Voters are not yet sold on constitutional amendment to change school funding
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah voters support changing the state Constitution to allow income tax revenues to be spent on programs for the disabled and children, in addition to higher and public education, which are already earmarked in the basic state law.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jan_Garbett_01.jpgFederal judge lowers signature threshold for Republican Jan Garbett to qualify for the ballot
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The already crowded Republican gubernatorial primary in June could add one more candidate as Republican Jan Garbett's was thrown a legal lifeline on Monday.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200427_GOED.jpgProcurement technical assistance centers play vital role against COVID-19
By Governor's Office of Economic Development
This article is part of a series about Utah-based companies going above and beyond the call of duty to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
images/Logos/Envision_Utah_Logo.pngGubernatorial candidates join Envision Utah for first post-convention forum
By News Release
Utah's gubernatorial candidates will have a chance to talk issues in a free live stream forum hosted by local nonprofit Envision Utah this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Interested attendees can RSVP here.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_03.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Statewide and congressional races
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Now that the conventions are over, see who is headed to a primary election in the statewide races and Congressional contests.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_02.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year. Here's who is through to November and who is facing a primary
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_01.jpg2020 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Check out who is facing a primary election and who is moving on to November.

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Grim milestone

The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. now exceeds the number killed in the Vietnam War. The war lasted nearly 20 years, while it took about three months for the U.S. to hit surpass the number of war dead [The Hill].

The number of deaths in seven states could 9,000 higher than originally reported [New York Times].

Food supply chain

President Donald Trump ordered meatpacking plants to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic [Axios].

Economic fallout

A White House economic advisor is warning unemployment in the U.S. could hit 20 percent by June [CNN].

The first-quarter GDP report is expected to show that the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 5 percent or more in the first quarter of 2020 [AP].

America is facing its first economic downturn since 2014 [CNN].

Uber is discussing plans to lay off about 20 percent of its workforce [The Information].

Tripadvisor laid off a quarter of its global workforce and closed a number of offices [Skift].

Ford lost $2 billion during the first quarter and is warning investors their losses will be worse in the current quarter [CNN].

Laying blame

The Trump administration is pressuring intelligence agencies to find out whether China and the World Health Organization initially hid what they knew about the coronavirus pandemic [NBC News].

Small business loans

The Treasury Department says they will perform a full audit on any company that took out loans above $2 million from a small business loan program to make sure their claims of economic distress were valid [CNBC].

The Trump administration says they will recoup hundreds of millions of dollars from big companies that received loans intended for small businesses [New York Times].


President Trump claims that the U.S. will begin testing 5 million people daily, but the top administration official overseeing testing says that's impossible [Time].

Coronavirus latest

Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning the U.S. could be in for a "bad fall and a bad winter" if it's unprepared for a second wave of coronavirus [CNN].

The virus is likely to keep schools closed for months [New York Times].


Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden on Tuesday [Politico].

Rep. Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party in 2019, launched an exploratory committee to run for president on the Libertarian Party ticket [Politico].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_04.jpgCurtis, bipartisan House members introduce bill to bolster internet freedom globally
Representative John Curtis (R-UT), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee,  joined released the following statement after introducing the bipartisan Open Technology Fund Authorization Act:  
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_03.jpgStewart urges adoption of national suicide hotline in next COVID-19 relief package
Congressman Chris Stewart (UT-02) joined a bipartisan, bicameral push in Congress with 22 U.S. Senators and 17 U.S. Representatives to include H.R. 4194, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, in the next COVID-19 relief package.
images/1000px_Logos/Congressional_News_02.jpgSens. Lee, Klobuchar call on law enforcement to investigate meat supply chain
U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, and Mike Lee (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, wrote a letter to the Justice Department, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), calling on the agencies to identify problems and implement appropriate solutions to help ensure that our country's food markets work for consumers, as well as our farmers, ranchers, and packers.
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgUtah Economic Task Force town hall: Reactivating your business: Testing and taxes
The Utah Economic Task Force will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST to discuss reactivating businesses and the Utah economy with a focus on testing and taxes.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgSalt Lake Chamber launches new webinar series to support businesses through COVID-19 pandemic
The Salt Lake Chamber has announced a new informational webinar series - "Utah Leads Together" - to support our community's economic reactivation and to help implement the Utah Leads Together plan for business. 

More National Headlines


1862 - New Orleans falls to Union forces during the Civil War.

1967 - After refusing induction into the U.S. Army, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his boxing title.

1974 - President Richard Nixon announces the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings relating to the Watergate scandal..

1975 - The U.S. begins to evacuate its citizens from Saigon in Operation Frequent Wind in response to advancing North Vietnamese forces, bringing an end to American involvement in the war.

1990 - Cranes begin tearing down the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate.

1992 - Riots break out in Los Angeles following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King.

Wise Words


"When nature has work to be done, she creates a genius to do it."Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lighter Side

Playing Dumb

"These poor doctors working for Trump. If they don't give us the truth, they're not doing their jobs, but if they do tell the truth, there's a good chance he'll fire them, so their only option is to play dumb and hope Trump gets distracted by a Filet-O-Fish or something."- JIMMY KIMMEL

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