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Situational awareness - July 17, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Friday!


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

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

192 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 U.S. sets another daily record for coronavirus cases. 
  • A White House document says Utah is in the "red zone" for coronavirus and should reinstate restrictions.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says he will change the state's Covid-19 guidance to allow Salt Lake City schools to open. 
  • GOP candidate Burgess Owens appeared on a QAnon webcast.


Today's question comes from Mike Mower:

What musical did State Senator Deidre Henderson and Salt Lake County Council Member Aimee Winder Newton co-star in while they were students at Bennion Junior High?

Send your guesses to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com

We will select a winner at random who gets to ask next week's question. 

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/Coronavirus_07.jpgWhite House document says Utah is in the coronavirus 'red zone'and should return to more restrictive measures
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
A document prepared for the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, but not made public, recommends Utah should close bars and gyms to stop the spread of Covid-19 in two cities and five counties.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200716_Owens_PSB.jpgRepublican congressional nominee Burgess Owens appeared on a QAnon web show
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Burgess Owens, the Republican nominee in Utah's 4th Congressional District, was a guest on a QAnon internet program in May where he stumped for campaign donations.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200716_Herbert_Covid_presser.jpgGov. Herbert says Utah will change some state Covid-19 guidelines to allow Salt Lake City schools to open
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert announced Thursday that the state was making an adjustment to their Covid-19 risk levels that would allow Salt Lake City students to return to the classroom this fall the fall.
images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Does anyone know what is going on?
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Well, we are four months into the coronavirus in Utah and we're actually worse off than when this all started.
images/1000px_Logos/Hatch_Foundation_Logo.jpgHatch Center to hold 'Race and Civility' event with Senator Tim Scott
By News Release
The Hatch Center-the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation-announced it will be hosting a symposium on "Race and Civility in America" with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). The event will be held as a live webinar on Wednesday, July 29  at 2:30 pm EDT.
images/1000px_Mugs/McAdams_Owens_01.jpgMcAdams has a massive cash advantage over Owens in Utah's 4th District
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Ben McAdams, Utah's lone Democrat in office, enjoys a massive cash advantage over his Republican opponent as they begin the sprint toward November's election according to new campaign finance reports filed Wednesday.
images/1000px_Mugs/Herbert_Mask_01.jpgUtah readying million dollar campaign to encourage wearing of masks in public
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Watch for a new $1 million state government public service announcement campaign coming that will encourage Utahns to wear masks, use social distancing in public and make other changes in their lives to help fight to coronavirus, which is expanding in Utah.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mary_Francis_McGowan_01.jpgPodcast: Looking down the 2020 ballot with National Journal's Mary Frances McGowan
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Mary Frances McGowan reports on governors and state politics for National Journal. She joins Managing Editor Bryan Schott to discuss some of the important down ballot races in 2020.
images/1000px_Mugs/Paul_Gibbs_01.jpgGuest opinion: We must listen to the experts about Covid-19
By Paul Gibbs
I'm not a doctor. I'm nothing resembling a doctor. Most of my medical knowledge comes a combination of M*A*S*H, ER and House, MD. And yet I feel I have a leg up on some of the Utah business and political figures pushing ideas and making decisions during this pandemic for the simple reason that I know I'm not a doctor and that means I should listen to doctors and other medical experts. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Black_Lives_Matter_01.jpgUtahns are divided over whether Republicans or Democrats handle race relations better
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Utah voters are split over which political party can best handle race relations in the U.S., a recent UtahPolicy.com/KUTV 2 News poll shows.
images/1000px_Mugs/Stuart_Reid_01.jpgGuest opinion: Herd immunity is the only way to beat Covid-19
By Stuart Reid
Governor Gary Herbert is right not to close down Utah society again. Let's face it, sickness is necessary to save lives. There is no way around that reality, however counterintuitive it may seem. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Can branding defeat Covid-19?'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick discuss the top Utah political news in our Tuesday podcast.

sl chamber task force 10


Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Brutal poll

Just 38 percent of Americans say they approve of the way President Donald Trump is handling the response to the coronavirus. 52 percent of Americans say they "strongly" disapprove [WaPo].


The U.S. set another record with more than 70,000 new cases in a single day. It's the 11th time the country has set a new daily record for cases this month [WaPo].

Russian hackers are trying to steal data about U.S. efforts to develop a Covid-19 vaccine [The Verge].

The CDC has extended its ban on U.S. citizens boarding cruise ships through Sept. 30 [CNBC].

Partisan mask wars

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is suing Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to stop her from enforcing a mandate that people wear masks in public [Bloomberg].


Another 1.3 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims last week [CNN].

Mortgage rates have fallen to record lows [AP].

U.S. retail sales jumped by 7.5 percent in June, which is better than experts expected [CNBC].

Target, CVS and Walgreens join the growing number of retailers who will require masks in stores [USA Today].

2020 election

Next month's GOP convention in Jacksonville is shrinking as organizers are limiting attendance to the event amid a surge in coronavirus cases [AP].

Big donors are flooding Joe Biden's campaign with cash to help him close the money gap with Donald Trump's campaign [Politico].

Republicans are warning President Trump his attacks on vote-by-mail could hurt Republicans in November [CNN].

Democrats are instructing delegates, House and Senate members and party officials to stay away from their party convention in Milwaukee next month [NYT].

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case challenging a Florida law that blocked some Florida felons from regaining their right to vote in elections [WaPo].

Twitter attack

Hackers apparently paid off a Twitter employee to help them hijack accounts on Wednesday as part of a bitcoin scam [Vice].

Here's a good breakdown of what happened during the attack [Krebs on Security].

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

Unidentified federal agents dressed in camouflage are driving around Portland in unmarked minivans and grabbing protesters off the street [Oregon Public Broadcasting].


Mary Trump says she heard her uncle Donald use the "n-word" anti-Semitic slurs. "I don't think that should surprise anybody," she said during a television interview [WaPo].

More trouble for the Redskins

More than a dozen women filed suit on Thursday claiming sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former employees of the NFL team [WaPo].


Policy News

Salt Lake City receives $80,000 grant to develop community nutrition hub in parks and recreation
Salt Lake City's Youth and Family Services, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, has received an $80,000 grant to develop a community nutrition hub to expand access to healthy foods through park and recreation programs and services.
Casual Friday: Weekend Events & Outdoors Report 7-17-20
 Outdoors Report-- Salt Lake Tribune: Dangerous algal bloom turns up in Zion National Park after dog dies in North Fork of the Virgin River-- KSL.com: Wildlife leaders enact some changes, propose for more cougar hunt opportunities in Utah-- KSL.com: STOP: What to do when lost in the woodsConcerts-- Concert in the Park(-ing lot) Series, Friday and Saturday evenings, 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 North 400 West, Centerville, $20 per vehicle-- "PAN," Salt Contemporary Dance, Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Marina Cove Beach at American Fork Boat Harbor, 100 W, American Fork, $15-$60-- Random Acts Series: JD & The Brass Saddle Band, Cache Arts, Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m., he Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan, 43 South Main, Logan, $10-- Salt Lake City Concert Cruise, Friday and Saturday, 6 p.m., various locations in downtown Salt Lake City, $35-- Common Folk Bluegrass Band, Saturday, 6 p.m., University Place Orem, 575 East University Parkway, Orem-- "Disney Goes Broadway," Saturday, 7 p.m., Vernal Theatre: LIVE, 40 East Main Street, Vernal, $6-$8-- 2020 Drive-In "Un"Common Concerts, Holladay Arts, Saturday, 8:30 p.m., Highland Drive and Donelson Lane (5165 South), Holladay, free, but reservations requiredTheater-- "Frozen Jr." through July 18, American Fork Youth Theater -- "A Midsummer Night's Dream" through July 24, Renaissance Now Theatre & Film -- "King Lear" through July 25, Renaissance Now Theatre & Film -- "Thoroughly Modern Millie" through July 25, Hopebox Theatre -- "Pippin" through July 27, Draper Historic Theatre-- "Bright Star" through August 15, Hale Centre Theatre-- "Little Women" through August 22, Hale Center Theater OremEt cetra-- Free Friday Films, Davis Arts Council, Friday, Mulan, 5 p.m. and Hairspray, 8 p.m., Kenley Amphitheatre, 403 N Wasatch Drive, Layton-- Rock-n-Roll Train, Friday, 7 p.m., Heber Valley Railroad, 450 South 600 West, Heber City-- West Jordan Drive-in Movie: The Princess Bride, Friday, 8 p.m., West Jordan Arena, 8035 South 2200 West, West Jordan-- Ute Stampede Rodeo, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., Juab County Fairgrounds, 350 West Center Street, Nephi-- Movies in the Park: Aladdin, Taylorsville City, Saturday, 9 p.m., Taylorsville City Hall, 2600 West Taylorsville Boulevard, Salt Lake City-- Weber County R.A.M.P. Presents Trolls World Tour, Saturday, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Peery's Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd, Ogden-- Urban Flea Market, Sunday, 10 a.m. 4 p.m., The Gateway, 18 North Rio Grande Street, Salt Lake City-- Spanish Fork Fiesta Days, through July 24, various venues, Spanish Fork-- Outdoor Movie Series, Fridays, 8:30 p.m., through July 31, Thanksgiving Point, 3003 North Thanksgiving Way, Lehi,-- Sunflower Farm Festival, through early August, Cross E Ranch, 3500 North 2200 West, Salt Lake City 
The future of the Jordan River Parkway is in Utahns' hands
For every walker, runner, cyclist, boater, fisher, picnicker, resident and visitor who enjoys the Jordan River Parkway, and even those who have never visited the area, your voice is needed. 

More National Headlines


1867 - Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston. It is the first dental school in the U.S. that is affiliated with a university.

1918 - Russian Czar Nicholas II and his family were killed by Bolsheviks who held them captive for two months.

1938 - Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the "wrong way" to Ireland and becomes know as "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

1955 - Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.

1975 - An American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft dock with each other in orbit, marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations.

1981 - 114 people were killed and 200 injured in the collapse of two suspended walkways at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

1984 - The national drinking age in the U.S. was changed from 18 to 21.

1996 - TWA Flight 800, New York to Paris, crashed off the Long Island coast, killing all 230 people aboard.

Wise Words


"The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy."  Benjamin Franklin, Emblematical Representations, ca. 1774

Lighter Side

Woke Idiot

"Let's spend the money we're lavishing on police departments on other nonviolent alternatives like mental health resources, substance abuse resources or, if Tucker Carlson's the one calling, we can send the woke militia to force-feed him vegan sausage," [Seth] Meyers concluded. "Maybe he'll like it maybe that will be the end of it all."

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