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Situational awareness - July 23, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Thursday!


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

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

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

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

  • Congress gets a good start on a coronavirus relief bill.
  • Gov. Herbert again asks Utahns to wear a mask in public but stopped short of mandating the practice.
  • The U.S. government cut a nearly $2 billion deal for millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine.


We won't publish a newsletter on Friday due to the Pioneer Day holiday. 

We'll return bright and early on Monday, July 27th.


Since we're taking tomorrow off, we're bringing you our weekly trivia contest a day early. 

Today's question is courtesy of Mike Winder who brings us a very timely query:

Which President of the United States attended the Days of '47 Rodeo on Pioneer Day in Salt Lake City?

Send your answers to me at mailbag@utahpolicy.com. We'll select a winner at random from the correct answers.

Good luck!

Thanks for subscribing to Utah's must-read daily political news rundown.

If you know of friends or colleagues who would benefit from our daily news roundup, please encourage them to sign up for our newsletter.

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Bernick_Mug_01.jpgBob Bernick's notebook: Election intrigue in Utah County
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
Talk about wheels within wheels and personal conflicts of interest. It would be tough to find more intrigue than in the Republican intraparty primary battle just finished in Utah House District 66 -- mostly headquartered in Spanish Fork, Utah County.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/QAnon_01.jpgPodcast: QAnon 101 with The Daily Beast's Will Sommer
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
The far-right QAnon conspiracy theory emerged in the Utah political sphere last week when it was reported that Republican Congressional candidate Burgess Owens appeared as a guest on an obscure YouTube channel dedicated to QAnon.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/20200722_Herbert_Presser.jpgHerbert again pleads with Utahns to wear masks to slow spread of coronavirus
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Not a lot of news coming out of Gov. Gary Herbert's Wednesday coronavirus news conference, except that, once again, Utahns need to wear masks and social distance -- and that a national news report about Utah's coronavirus battles was a bit off base.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jesse_Sandstrom_01.jpgGuest opinion: The pro-life paradox
By Jesse Sandstrom
 I am a life long member of the Republican party. One of the main stances of the Republican Party I most strongly believe is Pro-Life. I believe that life, whether just after conception or having just turned 101, is important and should be protected.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_08.jpgHerbert joins other GOP governors pushing Congress to pass 'commonsense' coronavirus liability protections
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Gov. Gary Herbert joined with 20 other Republican governors in sending a letter to Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, urging them to pass "common sense" liability protections for American companies that reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. 
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: Profits over people
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick dig into the latest Utah political news.
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.

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Coronavirus stimulus

Senate Republicans and the White House say they have reached an agreement on a number of elements of the next coronavirus relief package [Reuters].

Congress may extend the $600 in extra unemployment benefits for a short period in order to buy more time to negotiate the stimulus bill [Forbes].


The U.S. government cut a $1.95 billion dollar deal with Pfizer to provide 600 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year [NYT].

When will a vaccine be available? [Bloomberg].

Wealth transfer

President Donald Trump moved millions of dollars from his campaign donors to his private businesses [Forbes].


The economic recovery may be slowing as a new survey shows the number of Americans currently employed dropping markedly in the last month [Bloomberg].

Cities in the U.S. will lose $1.5 trillion in economic activity this year according to a new estimate [CNN].

Sales of existing homes jumped more than 20 percent last month, but its still below pre-pandemic levels [AP].

Civic unrest

President Trump announced a "surge" of federal law enforcement officers into more cities including Chicago and Albuquerque [Axios].

The mayor of Portland was tear-gassed by federal agents during another night of protests in that city [AP].

The government dispatched 114 federal officers to Portland as part of "Operation Diligent Valor" to protect U.S. government buildings from vandals [Politico].

About that test

President Trump can't stop talking about passing a cognitive test, but experts say that's nothing to brag about [WaPo].

Race for 2020

Democratic nominee Joe Biden called Donald Trump America's first "racist" president [WaPo].

Statue fight

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol [The Hill].


Policy News

United Way of Salt Lake announces new board leadership, naming Mikelle Moore of Intermountain Healthcare & Kirk Aubry of Savage to leadership roles
United Way of Salt Lake has named a new Chair and Vice Chair of its Board of Directors, in addition to welcoming a new board member.  
images/1000px_Logos/EDCUtah_Logo_2020.pngWorking on the railroad: Five questions for Union Pacific's Nathan Anderson
An EDCUtah investor, Union Pacific has 1,269 miles of track in Utah and has had a presence here for more than 150 years. We caught up with Nathan Anderson, Senior Director, Public Affairs, to find out how the railroad is evolving and adapting.

More National Headlines


1885 - President Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer.

1903 - The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.

1962 - Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.

1962 - Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1967 - Detroit riots: One of the worst riots in U.S. history begins in the predominantly African American inner city. Ultimately, 43 people are killed, 342 injured and 1,400 buildings are burned.

1973 - Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox served subpoenas on the White House after President Richard Nixon refused to turn over requested tapes and documents.

1999 - Eileen Collins becomes the first female space shuttle commander on the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Wise Words

True Then, True Now?

"The citizens of America have too much discernment to be argued into anarchy. and I am much mistaken if experience has not wrought a deep and solemn conviction in the public mind that greater energy of government is essential to the welfare and prosperity of the community." Alexander Hamilton: Federalist No. 26

Lighter Side

Sounds Like Biden

"Yep, Joe Biden was hacked. Afterward, he was like, 'Don't be fooled by this scam - invest your money with a Nigerian prince instead. He's giving away free iPhone 7's." - JIMMY FALLON

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