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Situational awareness - June 23, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Tuesday!


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

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

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

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

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

  • Trump flip flops on whether he ordered his administration to slow down on coronavirus testing.
  • Utah's coronavirus task force hasn't met in two weeks, and the group is being sidelined.
  • Most Utahns believe things in the U.S. are out of control.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/SLC_Protests_01.jpgMost Utahns say America is 'out of control'
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
More than half of Utah voters say the country is "out of control," no doubt worried about the coronavirus, the economy and political divides across the nation, a new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2News survey shows.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_10.jpgRomney calls ouster of New York federal prosecutor 'pretty swampy'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney called the weekend firing of the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan "pretty swampy" on Monday.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Utah_covid_task_force_01.jpgAs coronavirus cases spike, Utah sidelines COVID-19 Task Force
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah's COVID-19 Community Task Force, which was created in March to respond to the outbreak of the coronavirus, has been reduced to an "as needed" body by Gov. Gary Herbert's administration. The move comes as the number of coronavirus cases in Utah is spiking and health officials are warning that the state may have to reimpose restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200616_KUTV_Debate.jpgPoll: Cox leads tight three-way race ahead of June primary election
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Just 8 percentage points separate first and third place in the Republican race for governor according to a new survey of likely primary voters.
images/1000px_Mugs/Burgess_Owens_02.jpgBurgess Owens leads fundraising in Utah's 4th Congressional District ahead of June primary
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican Burgess Owens leads the fundraising race heading into the June primary election, while his opponents are lagging behind.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'The Boris Karloff debate'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick wrap an exhausting week of Utah political news.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200621_Utah_Unemployment.jpgUtah's unemployment rate drops slightly to 8.5 percent
By News Release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for May 2020 contracted by an estimated 4.8%, with 75,400 jobs sidelined compared to the May 2019 employment. Most job reductions remain as furloughs and are considered temporary in nature. Utah's current employment level registers 1,485,800. Utah's April year-over job change has been revised down two-tenths of a percentage point to -7.3%. 
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_27.jpgLawmakers slash millions from the state budget, but increase education funding slightly
By Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick
Just 120 days ago Utah's budget for next year was overflowing with cash. Revenue projections in mid-February gave lawmakers $921 million dollars in extra money to spend, most of it in the Education Fund.

sl chamber task force 10


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Which is it?

President Trump said in an interview Monday that he believes widespread testing for the coronavirus puts the U.S. "at a disadvantage." He also said he suggested conducting fewer tests. The admission comes after White House officials furiously tried to downplay Trump's remarks on Saturday that he told his administration to slow down on testing to make the U.S. look better [CNN].

Oversight clash

The House Judiciary Committee plans to issue a subpoena for Attorney General William Barr following the firing of Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York [Axios].


President Trump signed an executive order banning some legal immigration for 60 days due to the coronavirus [Axios].

Trump is also suspending some visas for foreign workers [BuzzFeed].


Experts are warning of "danger signs" as the number of coronavirus cases are increasing dramatically in several states [CNN].

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said Monday he is concerned the coronavirus is spreading in his state at an "unacceptable rate" [Axios].


President Trump spent part of Monday morning attacking mail-in balloting on Twitter [Bloomberg].

Barring a landslide victory, we probably won't know who wins the presidential race on election night in November [WaPo].


The University of Michigan is reportedly withdrawing from hosting a presidential debate this fall over worries about bringing campaigns and the media to campus during a pandemic [Detroit Free Press].

Oh, dear...

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen reportedly voted by mail in Indiana's primary election suing an address they have not lived at since 2016 [Business Insider].

Chopping the CHOP

Seattle's mayor has told protesters to leave the Captiol Hill neighborhood they have established as a police-free autonomous zone [CNN].


Existing home sales plunged 9.7% last month [AP].

Social media

A number of big companies are pulling advertising dollars from Facebook to protest the social network's content moderation policies [Reuters].


Major League Baseball will unilaterally announce a 60 game schedule after the players' union rejected the latest offer from the owners [AP].


Policy News

Salt Lake City chosen for Accelerator for America's national financial assistance initiative announced during John Legend's Father's Day special
The non-profit Accelerator for America will provide technical assistance and $50,000 in funding to help Salt Lake City stand up the infrastructure needed to successfully administer a financial assistance program for residents whose livelihoods have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Treasurer Damschen encourages Utahns to participate in first-ever unclaimed property webathon, claim their lost money
The Utah Unclaimed Property Division of the Office of State Treasurer is hosting its first-ever webathon on Monday, June 22 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. to raise awareness of unclaimed property and encourage Utahns to find and claim their lost money online.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 Episode 85: China hacking away at COVID vaccine research
In this episode of the CYBER24 podcast, presented by VLCM, we take a closer look nation-state hackers trying to get access to COVID vaccine research in the U.S. Because the work is being done at universities and private companies, the federal government can't provide the level of security many say we need. 
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 6-19-20
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Climbers balk as feds seek to shut down roped activity in two popular canyons near Moab-- KSL.com: 10 Utah waterfall hikes you'll fall in love with-- KSL.com: Walk-in lottery reopens for permits to hike The Wave at Utah-Arizona borderConcerts-- Salt Lake City Concert Cruise, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m., Downtown Salt Lake City, 200 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, $30-- "Showtime," Julie Moffit Ballet School, Friday and Saturday, multiple times, Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd, Ogden, $8Theater-- "Quarantunes: A Musical Review!" through June 20, Draper Historic Theatre -- "The Scarlet Pimpernel" through June 20, SCERA Center-- "Through Yonder Window" through June 20, SONDERimmersive -- "Cinderella" through June 27, Parker Theatre-- "Hairspray" through June 27, Hurricane Valley Theatrical Company Et cetra-- The Dinner Detective Murder Mystery Show, Saturday, 6 p.m., Hilton Salt Lake City Center, 255 South West Temple, Salt Lake City-- Great Scott Magic Show, Saturday, 9:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m., and 12 p.m., University Place Orem, 575 East University Parkway, Orem-- Pleasant Grove Strawberry Days, through Saturday, Historic Downtown, 200 South Main Street, Pleasant Grove-- Summer Solstice Celebration 2020, Friday and Saturday, Heber Valley Railroad, 450 South 600 West, Heber City-- Eyes to the Sky Balloon Festival, through Sunday, North Sevier Middle School, 200 North 100 West, Salina-- Juneteenth Events, through Sunday
Governor issues executive order moving sections of rural Utah to green health risk status
In close consultation with local health authorities and with the Utah Department of Health, Gov. Gary R. Herbert has approved requests for the following counties to transition to Green, or New Normal Health Risk Status: Beaver, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Millard, Piute, Uintah and Wayne beginning tomorrow, June 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm.

More National Headlines


1868 - Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the "Type-Writer."

1931 - Aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane.

1947 - The Senate joined the House in overriding President Harry S. Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley Act, which allows the president to intervene in labor disputes.

1972 - President Richard Nixon and White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman discussed a plan to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI's Watergate investigation.

Wise Words

Plenty of Myths

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic." John F. Kennedy

Lighter Side


"That's right, the vote was 5-4. It was the first time Trump was like, 'Let's wait and make sure we count all the mail-in ballots. right? Because they count, too, right?'" - JIMMY FALLON

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