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Situational awareness - May 12, 2020

Good Tuesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Utah is paying more than $5 million to develop a contact tracing app, but another firm offered the state a similar tool for free.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci will warn of "needless destruction and death" from prematurely reopening the economy.
  • The Supreme Court will hear arguments as President Trump seeks to shield his personal financial records from Congress.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_smartphone.jpgDays after entering into a multi-million dollar contract to develop a contact tracing app, another company offered similar technology to Utah officials for free
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Last month, Gov. Gary Herbert announced to great fanfare that they had partnered with a Utah high-tech company to produce a contact tracing app to help track and slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The partnership could cost the state more than $2.75 million for development and deployment. However, another company approached state officials offering an app for contact tracing with some of the same functions to Utah officials for free.
images/1000px_Mugs/Reyes_Leavitt_01.jpgAnalysis: Sean Reyes in good position ahead of June primary matchup with David Leavitt
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is in good shape, both before GOP voters and financially, as he heads toward a June 30 primary with Utah County GOP Attorney David Leavitt.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgUtah hits 150,000 new unemployment filings in seven weeks
By Utah Foundation
Utah employment numbers are bleak, but not as bleak as the national numbers.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Stark warning

Dr. Anthony Fauci plans to testify before a Senate committee on Tuesday that states prematurely reopening their economies will cause "needless suffering and death" [New York Times].

Blockbuster SCOTUS case

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday from President Trump's lawyers who are seeking to block subpoenas for his personal financial records from Congress and state investigators [Politico].

White House outbreak

The White House is ordering staffers to wear masks at work unless they are sitting at their desks, which is an abrupt reversal after two aides tested positive for coronavirus. However, President Trump said he would not wear a mask [NBC News].

More coronavirus aid

House Democrats are working on a proposal for a massive coronavirus stimulus package that could eclipse the $2 trillion bill passed in late March [CNN].

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump are trying to slow-walk new aid packages, but they're running into pressure to act as the economy continues to worsen [Bloomberg].


Hope for a quick economic recovery are beginning to fade as economists now predict it could take until next year for a return to pre-pandemic levels [Wall Street Journal].

Boeing's CEO predicts one major airline will go out of business this year as air travel is grinding to a halt [Bloomberg].

Some furloughs are starting to turn into permanent layoffs [Quartz].

Elon Musk says he will reopen his Tesla plant in California in defiance of local restrictions. Musk dared local officials to arrest him [Bloomberg].


President Trump has accused former President Obama of committing crimes but refused to specify what crimes he was referring to at a press conference Monday [Axios].

Not true

President Trump falsely claimed Monday that the US has "prevailed" over the coronavirus pandemic as the number of deaths crested above 80,000. He also repeated the falsehood that testing is widely available [New York Times].

Virus response

The World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus cases has jumped in countries that have eased their lockdown [CNBC].

Even if researchers are able to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus, there may not be enough available to end the pandemic [Washington Post].

The White House deliberately buried a document from the Centers for Disease Control that offered advice for states that wanted to lift coronavirus restrictions [AP].

A planned visit by Trump to a Pennsylvania factor that produces PPE was scrapped amid health concerns [Washington Post].

Media relations 101

President Trump abruptly ended a press conference on Monday after a testy exchange with two female reporters [CNN].


President Trump is reportedly eyeing a campaign shakeup as polls show him badly trailing Joe Biden in several swing states [Vanity Fair].

Republicans are growing increasingly worried that President Trump's erratic response to the coronavirus crisis could cost them some down-ballot races [PBS].

Democrats are beginning to take steps toward holding a virtual convention in August [New York Times].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Economic_Response_Task_Force_Logo_01.jpgUtah Economic Task Force town hall: Implementing moderate-risk guidelines in your business
The Utah Economic Task Force will host a virtual town hall on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. MST to discuss how to implement moderate-risk guidelines in your business as laid out in Utah Leads Together 2.0, as well as provide a glimpse at next steps for Utah's tourism industry.
Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs launches statewide Happiness for Heroes Initiative; Requests public participation
The Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs, in partnership with Avalon Healthcare, launched the Happiness for Heroes campaign, which is designed to share messages of support and hope to residents of Utah's four Veterans' nursing homes.
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.

More National Headlines


1932 - The body of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was found in a wooded area of Hopewell, N.J.

1937 - Britain's King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1949 - The Soviet Union announced an end to the Berlin blockade.

2002 - Former President Jimmy Carter began a visit to Cuba. He was the first president, in or out of office, to visit the island since communists took over in 1959.

Wise Words

Life's Purpose

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."Jackie Robinson

Lighter Side


"That's right - the C.D.C. wrote a plan for safely reopening the economy and the Trump administration covered it up. Basically, they did to the C.D.C. plan what Dr. Fauci does to his face during Trump's briefings.[as Trump]'Oh, that's a good idea, Fauci. I didn't know you could use your hand as a mask. Jared - Jared, get me a patent for hand masks. That way the next time Fauci does it, he'll have to pay me.'"- SETH MEYERS

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