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Situational awareness - June 29, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Monday!


The 2020 Utah primary elections are tomorrow (6/30/2020)

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

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

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

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

  • The CDC says the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. could be 10 times higher.
  • The Trump administration asks the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
  • Most Utahns say race relations in the U.S. are in bad shape.


Our readers sure do know their Utah history. Congratulations to Doug DeVore who was randomly selected as our winner from the many subscribers who correctly identified Caleb West as Utah's last territorial governor and Heber Wells as Utah's first state governor. 

Election pick 'em!

Today is the final day to enter our 2020 primary election pick 'em contest. 

Correctly pick the winners of four high-profile primary elections in our contest and you could win an Amazon gift card.

Enter here.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_13.jpgPoll: Most Utahns believe the Trump administration has mostly failed at improving race relations
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A slim majority of Utahns say President Donald Trump's administration has mostly failed at improving race relations in the U.S. according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200601_GOV_Debate.jpgAnalysis: Cox, Huntsman and Hughes all have very different paths to victory on Tuesday
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Tuesday is primary election day in Utah, likely one of the most interesting in a generation -- with four GOP candidates each in an open governor's race, an open 1st Congressional District race and a 4th Congressional District race where GOP leaders deeply desire to reclaim the seat from the Democratic Party.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Sales_Tax_05.jpgUtah taxable sales volatility spikes in March, April
By Doug MacDonald, Chief Economist, Econowest Associates
If Utah had a VIX index for its taxable sales, it would be at an all-time record high.  Of the 38 taxable sales economic sectors, 14 had higher than positive 10% in March year-over-year sales.  Another 14 sectors showed below negative 10% in March.  This is all-time record volatility since the State began tallying taxable sales in 1980.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/2020_Election_01.jpgPrimary election pick 'em contest!
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Test your knowledge of Utah politics by predicting the results of the four big Utah primary races next week.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Come collect your people!'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Listen to our Friday Utah political news roundup with Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200626_Dunn_CNN.jpgVideo: Dr. Angela Dunn sounds the alarm about Utah's exploding number of Covid-19 cases
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Utah state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn sounded the alarm on Friday about Utah's skyrocketing number of Covid-19 cases, saying policymakers need to do more to balance public and economic health in the state.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Black_Lives_Matter_01.jpgAmid Black Lives Matter protests, most Utahns say race relations are in bad shape
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
6 in 10 Utahns say race relations in the U.S. are not good according to a new survey.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Bob's primary election crystal ball
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Welcome to Bob Bernick's pre-primary "who will win" column.
images/1000px_Mugs/Steve_Schmidt_01.jpgPodcast: Interview with Steve Schmidt
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Longtime political strategist Steve Schmidt joins the podcast to discuss the 2020 election and where things stand with less than five months to go until election day.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200507_GOP_Debate_02.jpgRepublicans running for governor have raised and spent more than $6 million
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The four GOP candidates for Utah governor have spent, combined, more than $6.1 million in their attempts to win the June 30 primary election.

sl chamber task force 10


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Russia paid bounties to kill American soldiers 

Russian intelligence officers reportedly offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan if they killed U.S. or U.K. troops [New York Times].

President Donald Trump denied he was briefed about the Russian bounties on U.S. troops because he said the intelligence was not credible [NPR].

Intelligence assessments concluded that the Russian bounties resulted in the deaths of U.S. troops [WaPo].

The Trump administration is set to brief select members of Congress on the matter Monday [AP].


The Covid-19 death toll passed 500,000 worldwide on Sunday [NBC News].

12 states are pausing reopening following a spike in the number of cases across the country [CNN].

California ordered the closure of bars in Los Angeles and other counties as the number of cases continued to climb [Bloomberg].

Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that a Covid-19 vaccine may not get the U.S. to herd immunity if too many people refuse to get it [CNN].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said a nationwide mask mandate is "long overdue" [Axios].

Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to wear a mask and practice social distancing on Sunday [WaPo].

Coronavirus relief

The Trump administration has agreed to give Congress complete data on the millions of businesses that received $600 billion in loans from the coronavirus relief programs, but they're warning Congress not to make the information public [AP].

Social media

The advertiser boycott of Facebook over their content moderation policies is growing as several big advertisers pull ads off the social network [CNBC].


The Mississippi legislature voted to remove the Confederate battle symbol from their state flag. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to sign the bill into law [AP].


President Trump retweeted, then deleted, a video including a supporter shouting "white power" [The Hill].


Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen crashed a right-wing event posing as a country singer where he encouraged the crowd to sing along with lyrics about liberals being "chopped up" or "injected with the Wuhan flu." Organizers of the event were not amused. After rushing off the stage, Cohen allegedly returned to the event posing as a journalist [New York Post].


Policy News

Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission emphasizes the importance of wearing masks
On June 25, the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission unanimously recommended the governor designate a portion of the $1 million for the COVID-19 Outreach and Education Program to directly emphasize the importance of wearing a mask. The Utah Legislature allocated these funds to the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development during the June 2020 special session.
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 86: SOC 2 and other Corporate Certs - What, Why? How?
In this episode of the CYBER24 podcast, presented by VLCM, we continue our look cyber frameworks and certifications. We take a deep dive into the popular SOC 2. We learn more about SOC 2, to whom it applies, why some organizations need it, and how they get it.
Some Friday diversion from the heavy stuff . . .
Pollinators Get Real: It's no summer breeze being a Rocky Mountain pollinator.
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpg'Stay Safe to Stay Open' campaign launched to promote safety protocols and safe economic engagement
The Salt Lake Chamber announced the launch of "Stay Safe to Stay Open," a campaign to inform and support businesses in following COVID 19 guidelines from the Utah Department of Health. The initiative was introduced today with an invitation for businesses to take a pledge that they will follow best practices to protect employees and customers. Businesses that take the pledge will receive a "seal of approval" to display in their commercial locations and be included in an online searchable database.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 6-27-20
Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Utah gave group $400,000 to sue the feds on public lands issues. It never did. What happened? 

More National Headlines


1776 - The Virginia state constitution was adopted.

1853 - The Senate ratified the $10 million Gadsen Purchase from Mexico, adding more than 29,000 square miles to the territories of Arizona and New Mexico.

1950 - President Harry Truman authorized a sea blockade of Korea during the Korean War.

1956 - The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.

1958 - Brazil won their first World Cup.

1972 - The Supreme Court rules in the case Furman v. Georgia that arbitrary and inconsistent of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

2007 - The Apple iPhone went on sale. 

2009 - Financier Bernard Madoff received a 150-year sentence for his multibillion-dollar fraud. 

Wise Words

Final Word

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lighter Side

Face Masks

"Yes, it appears America isn't just dealing with a deadly strain of coronavirus, it's also dealing with a deadly strain of stupidity. If wearing masks killed people, there would be no doctors, no dentists, and no hockey goalies. Every hockey game would end with a score of 1,000 to 980. Why are we even arguing with these idiots?"- TREVOR NOAH

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