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Situational awareness - April 3, 2020

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Unemployment soars because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Utahns say they feel prepared to handle the fallout from the coronavirus.
  • The Utah GOP will use ranked-choice voting at their state convention.


Today's question comes from Dustin Lewis, the Assistant City Manager of South Jordan.

Who was the young Englishman that Howard Stansbury" selected to be the replacement for F.R. Grist on his 1849-1851 exploration of the Great Salt Lake to serve as the official artist of the expedition?

If you know, send your response to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com. We'll randomly select a winner from the correct answers.

Good luck!

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our emails.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_03.jpgPoll shows Utahns feel prepared to handle hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
By far, most Utahns believe they are personally prepared for the effects of the coronavirus, a new UtahPolicy.com/ 2News poll finds.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Utah GOP turns to IRV
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
UtahPolicy.com is told that leaders of the Utah Republican Party plan to use Instant Run-off Voting at their online-only state nominating convention later this month.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200402_Herbert_covid_presser.jpgJobless claims spike in Utah as state unveils new program to increase coronavirus testing
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that the economic outlook for Utah amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak was quite dour. At the same time, he announced a new initiative on Thursday designed to double Utah's testing capacity to control the spread of the illness.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_02.jpgUtahns trust state government more than the feds to deal with coronavirus pandemic
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utahns have confidence in themselves when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus, their local doctors and hospitals, and Utah state government, but many don't trust GOP President Donald Trump and the feds to take care of the coronavirus crisis, a new poll finds.
images/1000px_Mugs/Burningham_McCay_01.jpgBurningham names McCay as his running mate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Burningham named State Senator Dan McCay, R-Riverton, as his running mate on Wednesday night.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_13.jpgHerbert plans to call special session by end of April to deal with coronavirus pandemic
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Governor Gary Herbert says he will call lawmakers into a special session by the end of April so they can grapple with the fiscal fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

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"This thing is going to come for us all"

6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus it taking a toll on nearly every sector of the American economy. The U.S. jobless rate is likely at its highest level since the Great Depression [New York Times].

Mask recommendation?

The Trump administration is weighing whether to recommend Americans wear masks in public [New York Times].

New research shows coronavirus can be spread by simply talking or breathing [CNN].

Another milestone

The U.S. suffered 1,169 deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic in 24 hours, setting a new record for the most fatalities any country has experienced in a day. The death toll in the U.S. is now more than 6,000 [BBC].

Medical response continues to struggle

Essential drug supplies for patients stricken with coronavirus are beginning to run low [New York Times].

President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on Thursday to help companies building ventilators [Reuters].

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he doesn't understand why every state hasn't issued a stay at home order [CNN].

Michigan, Connecticut, and Indiana are seen as the next hotspots for the coronavirus outbreak [Bloomberg].

New York State is paying up to 15 times the regular price for medical equipment [Pro Publica].

New York hospitals are rationing the use of ventilators as the virus continues to rage in that state [Politico].

A naval hospital ship dispatched to New York has just 20 patients, even though there are 1,200 beds available [New York Times].

Dr. Deborah Birx, who is part of the White House coronavirus task force, says not every American is following guidelines about staying home and washing their hands [CNN].

Where did they get that number?

Experts on infectious disease say they don't know how the White House arrived at their projection that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus [Washington Post].

Economic response

Banks are warning demand for a $349 billion government relief program designed to help small businesses could be overwhelming [New York Times].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is forming a bipartisan committee to oversee the federal response to the coronavirus crisis [CBS News].

The Trump administration is exempting many small businesses from a requirement to provide paid medical leave for employees [New York Times].

Dropping the ball

The Trump administration ended a $200 million pandemic early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to such a threat [Los Angeles Times].

The White House ignored a warning from the Army nearly two months ago that the coronavirus could kill between 80,000 and 150,000 Americans [Daily Beast].

Holding China accountable

Intelligence officials are adamant that China has vastly underreported the spread of the virus and the damage it has wrought in that country [New York Times].

Relieved of command

The Navy fired the captain of an aircraft carrier after he pleaded for help because the coronavirus was ravaging his crew [USA Today].

Trump tries to calm the oil markets

President Donald Trump said Thursday he had brokered a deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia to cut oil output and hopefully stabilize the oil market, but details remain unclear [Reuters].

Dems delay

The Democratic National Committee pushed back their national convention to August 17 [CNN].

Oh, great...

Hurricane forecasters say they expect an above-average number of hurricanes this year [Bloomberg].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgUtah banks ready to approve Small Business Administration loans
Utah lenders announced that they stand ready to approve U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loans thanks to the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act during the bi-weekly virtual Town Hall for the Utah Economic Response Task Force. The CARES Act legislation is designed to help small business owners cover their payroll and other basic business expenses.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report
Outdoors Report--Salt Lake Tribune: Arches and Canyonlands national parks to close due to coronavirus. Some who live around Zion National Park are rooting for it to be next.-- Salt Lake Tribune: Pressure builds from locals to close Utah's Zion National Park even as tourists continue to go there--Salt Lake Tribune: Park City Mountain Resort furloughs 391 employees after coronavirus ends the ski season early-- Salt Lake Tribune: In Utah's mountains and deserts, Columbia spotted frogs are sentinels of climate change-- Deseret News:Hovenweep, Natural Bridges close; Springdale wants Zion to shut down-- Deseret News:More southeast Utah closures, as visitors flood San Rafael to camp-- KSL.com: More southeast Utah closures, as visitors flood San Rafael to camp-- KSL.com: Local hikers: More people outdoors, trails getting trashed-- KSL.com: Call to the wild: Great outdoors an escape in tough times-- KSL.com: Avalanche experts urge backcountry travelers to make conservative choices in wake of resort closuresVirtual EventsWorldwide Museums--Met 360 Project--Virtual Museum Tours--Museum Zen Art--Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery--Tate Britain Museum--Musee D'Orsay Museum--Uffizi Gallery--Van Gogh Museum
GREENbike offers $0.01 annual passes to essential workers
In coordination with Governor Gary Herbert's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall's proclamation implementing the directive, GREENbike, Salt Lake City's nonprofit bike-share program, is offering $0.01 annual memberships to all essential workers.
O.C. Tanner converts portion of manufacturing space to develop medical equipment to fight COVID-19 pandemic
O.C. Tanner announced it has converted a portion of its manufacturing space to develop and produce vital medical equipment needed to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, and it will be donating this equipment to hospitals that are in dire need of resources.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngJoin an urgent and compelling forum featuring Mike Leavitt that will provide direction to help local businesses navigate COVID-19
Join World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the David Eccles School of Business, the Marriner S. Eccles Institute, and the Leavitt Group, for a webinar forum: "Navigating COVID-19: How to Save Your Business with Mike Leavitt" on April 3, 2020 11 am - 1 pm MST. The forum will provide clear and actionable direction to help local businesses navigate the COVID-19 health and economic crisis.
Salt Lake County launches business relief hotline
Following the latest Public Health Order issued Sunday, March 29 by Salt Lake County Health Department and signed by Mayor Jenny Wilson, the Salt Lake County COVID-19 Economic Impact & Recovery Team is launching a free Business Relief Hotline for all Salt Lake County-based businesses to access and receive immediate resource guidance, as well provide a live outlet to ask questions.

More National Headlines


1860 - The first successful Pony Express run from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, begins.

1865 - Union forces capture Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America.

1882 - Robert Ford kills Jesse James.

1895 - The trial in the libel case brought by Oscar Wilde begins, eventually resulting in his imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.

1922 - Joseph Stalin becomes the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1948 - President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan, authorizing $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.

1955 - The ACLU announces it will defend Alan Ginsberg's book Howl against obscenity charges.

1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech.

1996 - Suspected "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski is captured at his Montana cabin.

2008 - Texas law enforcement cordons off the FLDS's YFZ Ranch. Eventually, 533 women and children will be taken into state custody.

2010 - Apple released the first generation iPad.

Wise Words

Best Medicine

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."Mark Twain

Lighter Side


On his 11th day of physical distancing at home, Jimmy Kimmel lamented how he has "been hearing how Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton came up with some of their greatest ideas while under quarantine during the plague", he said. "That's great so far all I've discovered is you can slide a laundry basket down the stairs. But congratulations to them."

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