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The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Send news tips or feedback to bschott@utahpolicy.com, or message us on Twitter.

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Situational awareness - July 2, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Thursday!


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

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

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

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

  • Spencer Cox maintains his lead over Jon Huntsman, but there are more than 111,000 votes left to be counted.
  • President Trump called reports that Russia was offering bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers a "hoax."
  • The U.S. reported more than 50,000 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday.


There will be no newsletter on Friday due to Independence Day. 

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Cox_Huntsman_01.jpgGeography, crossovers and late voters will determine gubernatorial winner
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
Is it Huntsman or Cox?
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Vote_By_Mail_Ballot.jpgElection update: Cox widens lead over Huntsman, but there are still more than 111,000 ballots to count
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Spencer Cox increased his lead over Jon Huntsman slightly after the second round of election results were released on Wednesday, but there are still more than 111,000 ballots left to be counted statewide.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Primary election madness'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Scott Howell joins Bryan Schott to discuss the initial primary election results.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200701_Stewart_Fox.jpgStewart says he's 'certain' Trump was not briefed about Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Chris Stewart continued his defense of President Donald Trump, saying he is certain the president was not fully briefed on intelligence that Russia was offering bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.
images/1000px_Mugs/Spencer_Cox_02.jpgCox leads Huntsman after first round of ballots. Owens grabs 4th District nod over Coleman. Republicans dump Hillyard
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox forged a 2.77 percent lead over Jon Huntsman after the first wave of results in Tuesday's Utah primary elections, but the race is far from over, as election officials say there could be as many as 100,000 ballots outstanding.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_economy_11.jpgUtahns are more worried about the impact of Covid-19 on the economy than public health
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
While Utahns still worry more about how the coronavirus affects the economy rather than public health, with new virus cases running high in Utah that pro-open-up sentiment is not as strong as it was last April, a new poll finds.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Vote_By_Mail_Ballot.jpgHow to watch Tuesday night's election results like a pro
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
We may not know who wins the hotly contested GOP race for governor until mid-July. But, there are some key indicators from the results over the first few days that will give us some hints about who is doing well, and who may be in trouble. 
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200629_Stewart_CNN.jpgStewart backs White House claim that Trump did not know about Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Rep. Chris Stewart defended the White House's claim that President Trump was not briefed on a reported Russian effort offering bounties for the killing of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. However, shortly after Stewart made his claim on national TV, the New York Times reported that Trump was given a written briefing on the Russian bounties in late February. 
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Pence_Mask_01.jpgHerbert urged Pence to encourage mask wearing to control the spread of coronavirus
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert reportedly asked Vice President Mike Pence to do more to encourage the wearing of masks in public during a phone call on Friday.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Russian bounty-gate

Russia was reportedly paying bounties to Taliban fighters of up to $100,000 per dead American soldier [NYT].

President Donald Trump called the reports of Russia paying bounties for the killing of American troops a "hoax" [NPR].

President Trump's resistance to intelligence reports about Russia led his national security team to brief him less often about Russia-related threats [CNN].

The White House is not planning any immediate response to the intelligence reports on Russian bounties targeting U.S. troops [WaPo].


The U.S. reported 50,000 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, another single-day record [NYT].

President Trump said Wednesday that he would have "no problem" wearing a face mask in public, but he reiterated his belief that the virus would "disappear" at some point [CNN].

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. jumped by nearly 50 percent in June, led by states that reopened their economies first [WaPo].

The number of coronavirus cases are decreasing in only two states [Axios].

Hospitals are bracing for another surge of Covid-19 cases [CNN].

A new study says the death toll from the coronavirus in the U.S. may be undercounted by as much as 75 percent [CNBC].


U.S. manufacturing rebounded in June [AP].

Military bases

President Trump threatened to veto the annual defense policy bill if it contained a provision requiring the renaming of U.S. military installations honoring Confederate figures [Politico].


The Senate stripped language from an intelligence bill requiring presidential campaigns to report offers of foreign help [CNN].


Policy News

images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgExecutives react to COVID-19 recession with drop in confidence and firm expectations
Utah business executives statewide report a significant decline in confidence along with an expectation for future growth, both related to economic consequences associated with the coronavirus.
Utah Industry Resource Alliance (UIRA) provides support & resources for Utah manufacturers
The Utah Industry Resource Alliance (UIRA) has announced its official launch. UIRA provides all Utah manufacturers with a one-stop source for expert resources to help them improve their bottom lines. UIRA delivers service and outreach to the manufacturing industry in the form of industry-specific training, mentoring and coaching, and becomes a trusted business advisor to its clients. 
images/1000px_Logos/SL_Chamber_Logo_1000.jpgEquality and inclusion in opportunity: The Black experience in the corporate world
Join us to learn about the experiences of Black professionals in Utah's business community. This is the first in a series of webinars, symposiums, and roundtables as part of the partnership between the Utah Black Chamber and the Salt Lake Chamber to focus on, discuss, and address issues of racism, equality, and inclusion in business.
Wasatch Front Regional Council announces public comment period and open houses for draft 2021-2026 Transportation improvement program
The Wasatch Front Regional Council, in conjunction with the Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Transit Authority, has identified hundreds of priority transportation projects totaling approximately $3.4 billion to enhance mobility, strengthen the economy, connect communities, increase access to opportunities, and improve health along the Wasatch Front. The public is now invited to provide input on the selected projects.  
images/1000px_Logos/WTC_Utah_Logo.pngSave the date: Virtual trade mission to Israel
The United States is Israel's single largest trading partner. Through World Trade Center (WTC) Utah's Virtual Trade Mission, you can connect directly with Israeli business and government leaders. Utah companies interested in learning about Israel, expanding into the area, or increasing their business in the market are encouraged to register for this Virtual Trade Mission.

More National Headlines


1776 - The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence is not published until July 4.

1788 - It was announced in Congress that the new Constitution had been ratified by the required nine states, the ninth being New Hampshire.

1881 - Charles Guiteau shoots and fatally wounds President James Garfield (who would die of complications from his wounds on September 19).

1890 - Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act.

1937 - Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

1976 - North and South Vietnam reunited, forming the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and naming Hanoi the capital.

2002 - Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

Wise Words


"What you get free costs too much." Jean Anouilh

Lighter Side

Looked After

"If you're worried about Trump's safety, don't - he's fine. While the agents are quarantined, Trump will be guarded by Eric and Don Jr. using a pair of SpongeBob walkie-talkies." - JIMMY FALLON

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