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Situational awareness - May 13, 2020

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of more COVID-19 deaths and economic damage if they lift restrictions too soon.
  • Utah's tax revenue drops from coronavirus lockdowns.
  • Romney criticizes the Trump administration's virus testing efforts.

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

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Cold fusion boondoggle'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick break down the top political headlines.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Gasoline_Tax_01.jpgCOVID-19 restrictions cause Utah's gas tax revenue to plummet
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Some early state tax data showing the impact of the coronavirus' on revenues is bad. And it will only get worse.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200512_Romney_Coronavirus.jpgRomney says Trump administration's efforts on COVID-19 testing 'nothing to celebrate'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney criticized the United States' efforts on coronavirus testing, saying it was "nothing to celebrate" during a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
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.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Dire warning

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned during a Senate hearing on Tuesday that cities and states would see more COVID-19 deaths and economic damage if they lift coronavirus restrictions too soon [A.P.].

The White House shelved a 63-page document that warned of a possible second coronavirus surge after reopening [A.P.].

Most Americans now believe it won't be until July or later before it will be safe to hold large public gatherings in public [Washington Post].


House Democrats unveiled a gargantuan $3 trillion coronavirus relief package on Tuesday. The proposal included $500 billion for state governments, $375 billion for local governments and billions in aid for others. The House plans to vote on the proposal Friday [Axios].

Democrats are also proposing a second round of stimulus payments of up to $6000 for families [CNN].


The U.S. budget deficit hit a record $738 billion in April [Reuters].


Consumer prices dropped 0.8 percent in April, leading to fears deflation is on the horizon, which could hinder any economic recovery [A.P.].

More than 100,000 small businesses in the U.S. have closed forever [Washington Post].

Big advertisers are canceling contracts for Q3 [Wall Street Journal].

Trump's finances

The Supreme Court heard two cases involving investigators seeking access to President Trump's financial records. Trump's lawyers are trying to shield those documents from becoming public [NPR].

Distraction tactics

As the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. crested above 80,000, President Trump is returning to familiar territory by accusing his political foes of committing felonies [Washington Post].

Not so fast

A federal judge hit the brakes on the Justice Department's efforts to drop charges against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI [Washington Post].

Desperately in need of a civics lesson

White House adviser, and President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, suggested there was uncertainty about whether the presidential election would happen in November, and he had some role in making that decision. (Spoiler alert: There's not, and he doesn't.) Kushner later walked back those remarks [Washington Post].

Work from home

Twitter told some employees they don't ever have to return to the office and could work from home forever [BuzzFeed].

A study from NordVPN found the average working day had increased by three hours in the U.S. since mid-March when companies started allowing employees to work from home [CNBC].

Campus closed

California's main universities said it's unlikely that students will return to campus this fall [CNN].


Democrats took the first step toward scrapping an in-person convention this summer, voting to allow convention planners to seek alternative voting methods [CNN].

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called President Trump's response to the coronavirus "incompetent" [ABC News].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 81: COVID-19 disruption has hackers on the offensive
When society's regular routine is thrown out off-kilter, cybercriminals get right to work. Whether they are stealing your video conferencing credentials to interrupt a meeting, using those credentials to access other accounts or launching websites to phish your employees, you need your defenses up now more than ever.
Central Wasatch Commission approves funding for projects in the Central Wasatch for the 2020 work season
During the May 4th meeting of the Central Wasatch Commission, the Commission approved funding for six project proposals that resulted from the Call for Ideas opened to the public in March.
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.

More National Headlines


1607 - Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in North America, was founded near the James River in Virginia.

1846 - The United States declares war on Mexico.

1880 - Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.

1940 - Germany's conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse. Winston Churchill makes his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons.

1958 - During a visit to Caracas, Venezuela, Vice President Richard Nixon's car is attacked by anti-American demonstrators.

1985 - A Philadelphia police helicopter bombed the fortified house of a radical organization, MOVE, to end a 24-hour siege. Eleven people died and the ensuing fire destroyed 53 homes.

1989 - Large groups of students occupy Tiananmen Square and begin a hunger strike.

1995 - Alison Hargreaves becomes the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas.


Wise Words

Sharing Happiness

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."Buddha

Lighter Side


"Only Donald Trump would dismiss the concerns of a front-line nurse at a reception to celebrate National Nurses Day. If Donald Trump was a 911 operator, that would be a disaster. 'Hello, 911? My house, it's being robbed!' '[as Trump]Well, I've heard a lot of houses aren't being robbed. In fact, most people have told me their houses are not being robbed right now.'"- TREVOR NOAH

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