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Situational awareness - May 8, 2020

Good Friday morning from Salt Lake City


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

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

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

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

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

  • America bracing for big unemployment numbers.
  • Republican candidates for governor debate twice.
  • An aide close to President Trump tested positive for coronavirus.


Today's question comes from reader Tina Mathieu:

Which Utah Senator was concerned about public health and wanted to stop the spread of contagious diseases and sponsored the bill that created a State Board of Health?

If you think you know the answer, send your guess to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com

Good luck!

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

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Today At Utah Policy

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.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_40.jpgHow many special sessions will lawmakers need to tackle the COVID-19 crisis?
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on the state's economy, but lawmakers still don't have a handle on how much damage the pandemic will leave in its wake.
images/Resized_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Logo_01.jpgReport finds major gap in meeting legal needs in Utah
By Utah Foundation
Utah Foundation released The Justice Gap: Addressing the Unmet Legal Needs of Lower-Income Utahns. This report focuses on the legal needs of lower-income Utahns or the roughly 26% of Utah's population living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Medical_mask_01.jpgPPE Push Pack Program launched to help small business jump start COVID-19 transition
By News Release
Gov. Gary R. Herbert announced the launch of the "PPE Push Pack" program to support small businesses in the transition to "moderate risk" COVID-19 protocols.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Other than that, how did you enjoy the play Mrs. Lincoln?'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick break down the important Utah political headlines from the past few days in the Tuesday edition of our podcast.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Bracing for the worst

Friday morning's jobs report is expected to show the largest jump in the unemployment rate since the Great Depression. Economists are projecting 22 million jobs lost in April. It could take years for the economy to recover from the downturn [Politico].

3.2 million more Americans filed for unemployment this week, bringing the total to more than 33 million [ABC News].


A military aide to President Trump tested positive for coronavirus. President Trump said Thursday that White House staff would be tested every day. President Trump was reportedly "lava level" angry that someone close to him tested positive [CNN].

Michael Flynn

The Justice Department dropped the case against President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn even though Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI. The reversal raised fresh accusations that the Justice Department was caving to political pressure [Washington Post].

Another stimulus package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is putting the finishing touches on a new, multi-trillion-dollar stimulus package. The bill's price tag could top $2 trillion [Politico].

Russia investigation

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to temporarily block a ruling requiring the Justice Department to give Congress access to secret grand jury material from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation [Washington Post].

The House Intelligence Committee released thousands of pages of transcripts from more than 50 closed-door interviews from the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election [CNN].

Too soon?

The vast majority of Americans think it's too early to reopen the country and doing so will result in more deaths [ABC News].

Joe Biden

Tara Reade, who has accused presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, called for Biden to drop out of the presidential race [Guardian].

A court document from 1996 shows Reade told her ex-husband she was sexually harassed while working for Biden in 1993 [San Louis Obispo Tribune].

Clamping down

President Trump and his allies in the White House are seeking to block or downplay information about the severity of the coronavirus while urging states to restart their economies. Some Republican-led states are following suit [Washington Post].

Pay attention to this

Following the recent health scares from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Republicans in the Senate say they will fill a vacancy on the high court should an opening occur this year [Politico].


Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday [NBC News].

Sports showing signs of life

The NFL released its 2020-2021 schedule [NFL.com].

NASCAR will return to racing on Sunday, May 17 [For The Win].

One top-level German football club plans to use cardboard cutouts of fans when they return to play this month [Bundesliga].


Policy News

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. 
Utah Farm Bureau launches 'Farmers Feeding Utah' to sustain farmers, help families
The Utah Farm Bureau Federation is launching the 'Farmers Feeding Utah' campaign, FarmersFeedingUtah.org, to help sustain farmers and ranchers impacted by Covid-19, while providing food and donations to Utah families in need.
Treasurer Damschen encourages Utahns and businesses to search state website for lost money during COVID-19 crisis
Utah State Treasurer David Damschen encourages Utah residents and business owners to search mycash.utah.gov for unclaimed property during the COVID-19 pandemic.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgUtah Leads Together: Supply chain & logistics webinar
Could COVID-19 be the black swan event that forces many industries and companies in Utah, nationally and globally to rethink and transform their global supply chain models?

More National Headlines


1541 - Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River.

1639 - William Coddington founds Newport, Rhode Island

1846 - Mexican-American War: Zachary Taylor defeats a Mexican force north of the Rio Grande in the first major battle of the war.

1886 - Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola" as a patent medicine.

1945 - President Harry S. Truman officially declared V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe.

1972 - Vietnam War: President Richard Nixon announces his order to place naval mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and goods to that nation.

1973 - A 71-day standoff between federal authorities and the American Indian Movement members occupying the Pine Ridge Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota ends with the surrender of the militants.

1980 - The World Health Organization confirms the eradication of smallpox.

1984 - The Soviet Union declared it wouldn't take part in the Los Angeles Olympics, citing fears about safety for its athletes. The decision came four years after the United States team boycotted the Games in Moscow.

Wise Words

Personal Perspective

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."Alice Walker

Lighter Side

Poor Noah

"Finally someone has decided to call out this fascist American government that's asking people to please stay in their houses to try and save their own lives. I mean, you're not even allowed to go to the grocery store anymore. I mean, actually you can go to the grocery store, but you can't even go for a walk. I mean, you can do that too, but what about the beach? You're not allowed to go to the beach. Except for all the states where you're allowed to go to the beach. But you definitely can't go to H&M. And that is the definition of fascism."- TREVOR NOAH

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