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Situational awareness May 11, 2020

Good Monday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • White House warns unemployment could go above 20 percent.
  • More than 137,000 Americans could die by early August from COVID-19.
  • Political betting markets favor Huntsman over Cox.


Lots and lots (and lots) of readers correctly identified Martha Hughes Cannon as the Utah Senator who sponsored the bill that created a State Board of Health.

Congratulations to Jen Ball, who was randomly selected from all of our correct answers as the winner. She gets the privilege of asking the next trivia question on Friday.

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Cox_Huntsman_01.jpgPolitical betting markets favor Huntsman to win GOP nomination over Cox
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The polls suggest the race for the GOP nomination for governor is a two-person race right now, with either Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox or former Gov. Jon Huntsman leading the pack. But on the popular political betting site PredictIt, Huntsman is the clear favorite right now.
images/1000px_Mugs/Nancy_Workman_01.jpgFormer Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman dies
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Former Salt Lake County Mayor Nancy Workman passed away this week at the age of 79.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast - 'My vote is for sale!'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick discuss the hot political topics in the Friday edition of our podcast.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200507_GOP_Debate_02.jpgGOP candidates for governor debate COVID-19 response and recovery
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
How and when Utah will recover from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 is a question nobody can answer definitively. Unemployment is rising as businesses struggle to regain their economic footing following the disruption from Utahns staying home to control the spread of the virus.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Two birds, one stone
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
I write today to point out some of the interesting behind the scenes connections between state House and Senate members with the current four-person GOP race for governor.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200507_GOP_Debate.jpgGloves come off in GOP gubernatorial debate as rivals blast state's coronavirus response
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Well, the gloves came off Thursday during an online debate between the four gubernatorial GOP candidates, with three -- and especially two -- taking out after Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox for what was called an "irresponsible'' state reaction to the coronavirus, especially how local businesses have had to close.
images/Icons-Blue/republican2.pngAnalysis: GOP race to face Ben McAdams is wide open
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
As the Republican Party nomination battle in Utah's 4th Congressional District now gets underway, state Rep. Kim Coleman has the most cash on hand.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune




Two of President Donald Trump's top economic advisers warned Sunday that unemployment could jump to 20 percent by next month [Washington Post].

Death toll continues to rise

As states begin to open up businesses and Americans start moving around, a leading model is now projecting more than 137,000 Americans will die by early August [CNN].

China hacking

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are preparing to accuse China of hacking to steal information about American research to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 [New York Times].

White House exposure

Vice President Mike Pence won't self-isolate after one of his aides was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Friday [Reuters].

Dr. Anthony Fauci is beginning a "modified quarantine" after a "low risk"contact with a White House staffer who tested positive [CNN].

Secret Service agents have reportedly been told to wear masks near President Trump [ABC News].

Another round of stimulus?

House Democrats are floating a plan to give most Americans $2,000 monthly relief checks amid the COVID-19 crisis [The Hill].

The White House has begun talks with Congressional Republicans and Democrats about what to include in another round of coronavirus relief [Reuters].

Disinformation leads to funding cuts

The Trump administration cut funding for a scientist who is searching for a cure for the novel coronavirus after a member of Congress made a false claim on Fox News [60 Minutes].


A Texas medical supply company told the federal government it could produce 1.7 million N95 masks per week during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, but were turned down [Washington Post].

Lockdown fight

Republicans are ramping up their attacks against stay-at-home orders [Politico].

A Sioux Tribe in South Dakota is refusing to remove coronavirus checkpoints that the state's governor has declared illegal [CNN].

Happy Mother's Day?

President Trump unleashed more than 100 tweets and retweets on Sunday, railing against former President Barack Obama and other targets [Washington Post].

Meat shortage?

Even though US meat plants are in danger of shutting down as workers get sick, America is still exporting meat to China [Reuters].


Sen. Kamala Harris is reportedly emerging as the early leader in Joe Biden's search for a running mate [Politico].

Joe Biden's polling lead over Donald Trump is holding steady at 6 points [CNN].

Despite Biden's lead in the polls, most big investors believe Trump will win the 2020 election [Axios].

Republicans are growing increasingly worried about losing control of the Senate [Washington Post].


Policy News

Economic Response Task Force shares resources so businesses can stay safe to stay open
Moving to the Orange - Moderate Risk level outlined in the Utah Leads Together plan allows for smart re-engagement between consumers and businesses. To ensure companies have the information they need to reactivate, fact sheets and targeted actions have been taken around personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 business compliance information, phased business guidelines, protecting high-risk individuals, screening and testing employees, as well as other state resources. 
Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission adopts plan to protect high-risk populations
On May 7, the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission, by unanimous vote, recommended the governor move forward with a plan to address high-risk populations developed by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.
Governor suspends statute requiring certain retail licensees serving alcoholic beverages to notify the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control before closing
Gov. Gary R. Herbert suspended a portion of statute today that requires certain retail licensees that serve alcoholic beverages to notify and receive approval from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) prior to closing or ceasing operation. 
Utah State Fair 'Go Pig or Go Home' September 10-20, 2020
The 165th annual Utah State Fair intends to open this September 10, with events for everyone including The Day of "Wreck"oning Demolition Derby, The Bullfrog Spas Concert Series and Utah's Own PRCA Rodeo.
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgUtah Rapid Response Team volunteers assist small businesses with federal stimulus resources
The Utah Economic Response Task Force announced that the Rapid Response Team (RRT) had provided one-on-one assistance to more than 2,000 Utah small businesses in their efforts to benefit from federal COVID-19 stimulus programs.
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngWebinar: Southeast Asia as an alternative to China
Due to the supply chain disruptions in Asia caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to identify alternatives. Join World Trade Center Utah, Dezan Shira & Associates' Dustin Daugherty and Harris Bricken's Jonathan Bench for a webinar comparing markets in Southeast Asia as you search for new sourcing and direct investment opportunities. 

More National Headlines


1846 - President James K. Polk asks for a Declaration of War against Mexico, starting the Mexican-American War. It is approved on May 13.

1858 - Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd state.

1910 - An act of Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.

1973 - Citing government misconduct, Daniel Ellsberg's charges for his involvement in releasing the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times are dismissed.

1997 - World chess champion Gary Kasparov was defeated by a computer, IBM's Deep Blue, in a six-game match.

Wise Words


"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."Abraham Lincoln

Lighter Side

Light of Day

"The report was supposed to come out last Friday, but then the White House told the C.D.C. scientists that the guidance 'would never see the light of day.'[imitating Trump]'No, because it's damaging to me politically. Plus, if you want to fight coronavirus, we all know that light of day has to go inside of you.'"- STEPHEN COLBERT

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