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Situational awareness - July 21, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Tuesday!


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

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

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

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

  • Republicans want to tie coronavirus relief to states reopening schools in the fall.
  • Utah officials prioritized economic health over public health in reopening the state's economy.
  • This week, Utah will begin a push to encourage mask-wearing in public.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Logos/Pro_Publica_Logo.pngPoliticians and Business Interests Pushed Health Officials Aside to Control Reopening. Then Cases Exploded.
By Lisa Song and Mollie Simon, ProPublica
Back in April, when public health officials were still helping lead Utah's response to the coronavirus, the spread of the disease had slowed, stabilizing at fewer than 200 reported cases a day.Then came a shift in power, and priorities.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_12.jpgState set to begin major push to convince Utahns to wear masks
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Look for a "major" public service announcement campaign coming this week aimed at getting Utahns to wear masks and keep social distancing, says Utah Senate President Stuart Adams.
images/1000px_Screenshots/20200720_Owens_Fox.jpgCongressional candidate Burgess Owens slams Washington Redskins name change
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Republican congressional nominee Burgess Owens says the campaign to get the Washington Redskins to change their nickname was pushed by the "left trying to destroy our history."
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_13.jpgTrump still favored to carry Utah in November, but ratings shift toward Democrats
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Are President Trump's sagging poll numbers threatening the GOP's grip on Utah? Maybe not, but the days of Utah being a rock-solid Republican stronghold could be threatened in the age of Trump. 
images/1000px_Logos/Utah_Foundation_Significant_Statistics_Logo.pngSignificant statistics: How are the economic crisis and long-term trends affecting government jobs in Utah?
By Utah Foundation
There has been a sharp decline in government jobs since the pandemic began affecting Utah's economy in March.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/coronavirus_14.jpgPoll shows Utahns are still wary of engaging in many activities because of coronavirus
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Many Utahns are still uncomfortable engaging in activities that before the coronavirus would have been everyday occurrences, like going to church, or eating out at a restaurant or flying on a commercial airline, a recent poll for UtahPolicy.com and KUTV 2News finds.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: Utah in the red zone
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick discuss the latest Utah political headlines.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200719_Utah_Unemployment.jpgUtah's unemployment rate drops to 5.1 percent
By News Release
Utah's nonfarm payroll employment for June 2020 contracted by an estimated 2.8%, with 43,100 jobs sidelined compared to the June 2019 employment. Utah's current employment level registers 1,515,200. Utah's May year-over job change has been revised down two-tenths of a percentage point to -5.0%. 
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.

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Stimulus negotiations

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are at odds over key parts of the next fiscal stimulus package [Politico].

Republicans are likely to tie coronavirus aid to the states to schools reopening [WaPo].

Economists say the next stimulus bill must be at least $1 trillion or the U.S. could head off a fiscal cliff [Bloomberg].

Coronavirus latest

Three vaccine developers are reporting promising results for a potential vaccine against coronavirus [NYT].

A surge in the number of cases is overwhelming labs and delaying results. Labs are racing to ramp up their capacity [CNN].

White House briefings resume Tuesday

President Trump says he's bringing back regular coronavirus briefings from the White House [CNN].

President Trump called wearing masks "patriotic" after refusing to wear one for months [CNBC].

2020 warning

Democrats in Congress are demanding the FBI brief all lawmakers about a "foreign influence campaign" targeting lawmakers. The FBI is warning that Sen. Ron Johnson's probe into allegations against Hunter Biden is an effort to "launder" disinformation ahead of the 2020 election [Politico].

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden says he is receiving intelligence briefings and is warning of Russian interference ahead of the 2020 election [Bloomberg].


President Trump says he will send federal law enforcement forces to more cities, including Chicago, to counter unrest [NYT].

The presence of unidentified federal agents in Portland is raising red flags among state and local leaders [AP].

Won't wait

Republicans in Congress said they would move quickly to fill a Supreme Court vacancy this year, even if it happens after the November election [CNN].


Policy News

State offers free counseling for COVID-related stress
More than 40 crisis counselors are ready to answer your call if you are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression because of COVID-19. 
images/1000px_Logos/CYBER_24_Logo.jpgCYBER24 episode 89: The anatomy of a hack
Protecting your business from cybercriminals means you have to think like a hacker. In this episode of CYBER24, presented by VLCM, we connect with Webcheck Security CEO Greg Johnson and Webcheck Security VP of Engineering Curt Jeppson, to get some insight on how hackers go about trying to break into your system and steal your data and your money. 
Weber County, Weber-Morgan Health Department, local cities and local businesses launching mask up campaign to slow COVID-19 spread
The group is set to launch a new public information campaign encouraging citizens to wear masks to prevent the rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weber County has continuously worked to balance the health of our residents, the necessities of the economy, and the personal American rights of our citizens. 
Millcreek to kick off Utah's Pioneer Week honoring Black pioneers
Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini plans to kick off Pioneer Week in Utah with unveiling new street signs designating 3205 South Street in Millcreek as "Chambers Avenue." That street is the only unnamed avenue in Millcreek's new City Center project between Highland Drive and Richmond Avenue and city leaders want to use the opportunity to honor early Millcreek pioneers Samuel and Amanda Chambers.
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.

More National Headlines


1861 - The First Battle of Bull Run was fought at Manassas, Va. during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory.

1925 - The Scopes "monkey trial" ended in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes convicted of violating state law for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. (The conviction was later overturned.)

1949 - The U.S. Senate ratified the North Atlantic Treaty.

1961 - Capt. Virgin "Gus" Grissom became the second American to rocket into a sub-orbital pattern around the Earth, flying on the Liberty Bell 7.

Wise Words


"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." John Adams: A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

Lighter Side

Demoted Campaign Manager

"It is almost worse that he is also still part of the campaign team. Think about that: staying on the team when you have been demoted. That's like your wife leaving you but then saying you are welcome to live with her and her new boyfriend." - TREVOR NOAH

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