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Situational awareness - July 30, 2020

Good morning from Salt Lake City

Let's Thursday!


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

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

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

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

  • More than 150,000 Americans have died from coronavirus since February. That's more than the 9/11 attacks 50 times over.
  • A White House report says Utah is still in the coronavirus "red zone" and should implement a statewide mask mandate.
  • President Donald Trump says he did not bring up reported Russian bounties for killing American troops during his recent phone call with Vladimir Putin.


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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Article_Photos/Coronavirus_Test_01.jpgWhite House report says Utah is still in the 'red zone' for coronavirus and calls for statewide mask mandate
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Last week, Utah was one of 18 states considered to be in the federal "red zone" for coronavirus according to a report prepared for the White House. The latest version of that report says Utah remains in the red zone and should implement a statewide mask mandate to slow the spread of the virus.
images/1000px_Mugs/Danny_Laub_01.pngPodcast: Wrapping up the 2020 primary elections with Poolhouse's Danny Laub
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Now that the 2020 Utah primary elections are over, we speak with political consultant Danny Laub from Poolhouse to get some insight on the results.
images/1000px_Mugs/Mitt_Romney_11.jpgRomney slams Trump's decision to move thousands of U.S. troops out of Germany
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Sen. Mitt Romney ripped the Trump administration's decision to move thousands of U.S. troops out of Germany as a "grave error" that will weaken any ability to respond to threats in Europe.
images/1000px_Capitol_Photos/Utah_Capitol_04.jpgUtah's tax revenues fell 4.2 percent this year due to the impact of coronavirus on the economy
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
The Utah State government's financial picture has not been harmed as severely as economists/legislators/Herbert administration officials feared earlier this spring, a fiscal year-end revenue report shows.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_Schott_Cover_01_Small.pngBernick and Schott on politics podcast: 'Hide and seek with Spencer Cox'
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Contributing Editor Bob Bernick discuss the latest Utah political news with less than 100 days to the November election.

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More than 150,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus since the first known death in February. That's an average of 850 deaths per day, or 50 times more deaths than the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. recorded 1,461 deaths on Wednesday, which is one death per minute [CNN].

Raised eyebrows

President Donald Trump said he did not bring up intelligence that Russia had offered bounties to kill American troops when he spoke with President Vladimir Putin last week. Trump said had he known about the intelligence, he would have acted. The information was part of his written intelligence brief in February, but he rarely reads that document [Axios].

Coronavirus relief

Congress is still nowhere near an agreement on another coronavirus relief package. The primary sticking point is extending $600 per week in extra jobless benefits [Politico].

Back to school?

The president of the American Federation of Teachers says teachers in Florida, Arizona and Texas could strike in protest of unsafe working conditions because of the coronavirus [Politico].


Republican congressman Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask, tested positive for coronavirus. He later made the inexplicable claim that wearing a mask might be responsible for him contracting the virus [Politico].

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that masks would be mandatory in the House following Gohmert's positive test. Members and staff will not be allowed in the House Chamber without wearing a mask [CBS News].


The U.S. will report a record-breaking economic plunge. Consumer spending fell off a cliff in the last quarter, which caused the economy to shrink by a 32 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter [AP].

U.S. gross domestic product dropped nearly 35 during the second quarter [Bloomberg].

The Federal Reserve left interest rates near zero as the economy continues to sputter [NYT].

Big tech takes a beating

The chiefs of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook underwent tough questioning from Democrats and Republicans during a contentious congressional hearing on Wednesday [NYT].

Republicans claim that right-wing voices are being censored on social media. Data shows that's not true [CNN].

In a particularly cringe-worthy moment, Florida Republican Greg Steube claimed his campaign's emails ending up in spam folders was evidence of anti-conservative bias [Daily Beast].


Justice Brett Kavanaugh reportedly urged his colleagues on the court not to rule either way in the high-profile case concerning President Trump's tax returns. Kavanaugh also lobbied the other justices to stay out of a Louisiana abortion case that would have closed all but one abortion clinic in the state [CNN].

Food insecurity

Almost 30 million Americans said they did not have enough to eat last week [Bloomberg].


Oregon's governor announces that federal officers will begin leaving the city on Thursday [Oregon Public Broadcasting].

Read this right now!

Civil rights leader John Lewis, who died last week, authored an op-ed to be published on the day of his funeral urging Americans to stand up for their beliefs and reject racism and hate [NYT].

Big Brother is watching

Rite Aid deployed facial recognition technology in largely lower-income non-white neighborhoods [Reuters].


Policy News

Hatch Center hosts Senator Tim Scott for symposium on race and civility
The Hatch Center-the policy arm of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation-hosted a virtual symposium on Race & Civility in America with special guest Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). In his keynote remarks, Senator Scott outlined a path forward for reducing police violence and empowering minority communities through economic opportunity.
images/1000px_Logos/GOED_Logo_1000.pngTwo GOED grant programs announced
The Governor's Office of Economic Development has announced two grant programs to support businesses impacted by the pandemic.
St. George Area Chamber of Commerce launches new partnerships to elevate southern Utah women in business
The St. George Area Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Women's Leadership Institute of Utah and Women's Business Center of Utah in an effort to deliver a wave of new resources to women looking to launch a business, advance their career or lead in their community.
Over 400 WeberCARES grant applications have been received since opening
On July 6, 2020, Weber County opened the application period to the WeberCARES Grant to offer relief to local businesses financially impacted by the pandemic. 
Salt Lake County expands reach of $40M Small Business Impact Grant program to include all business, COVID-19 aid recipients
Salt Lake County opened its Small Business Impact Grant to businesses closed by COVID-19's public health orders with the goal of reaching small businesses forgotten in the rush of initial federal relief. 
Millcreek launches $1.5 million in small business promotion grants
In Monday night's Council Meeting, Mayor Jeff Silvestrini and the Millcreek City Council unanimously approved the creation of a grant program to reimburse the city's small retail businesses for up to $5,000 in advertising. As part of the city's CARES Act Funds distribution, Millcreek is designating $1,500,000 available on a first-come-first-served basis, intent on helping 300 small businesses. 

More National Headlines


1619 - In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time.

1729 - Founding of Baltimore, Maryland.

1863 - Representatives of the United States and tribal leaders including Chief Pocatello (of the Shoshone) sign the Treaty of Box Elder.

1956 - A joint resolution of Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the national motto.

1965 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

1969 - President Richard Nixon makes an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and meets with President Nguyen Van Thieu and U.S. military commanders.

1974 - President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court.

1974 - The House Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 21-17, approved a third article of impeachment against President Richard Nixon, charging him with ignoring congressional subpoenas. Nixon resigned just over a week later before he could be impeached.

1975 - Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in a Detroit suburb. He is never seen or heard from again.

Wise Words


"Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." George Washington Carver

Lighter Side


"To give him credit, yesterday's virus-side chat showed the kind of strong, thoughtful leadership we need -ed in January." - STEPHEN COLBERT

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