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Situational Analysis - April 1, 2021
The first quarter of 2021 is in the books! Today is April Fool's Day, something that has been celebrated for hundreds of years. No mean tricks, please. They're really not funny. Also, today is National Burrito Day. Not kidding. Check out this list of places you can get some sweet burrito deals.
April is a month of many things. It's National Child Abuse Awareness Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Volunteer Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Stress Awareness Month, among other important topics.
5 things you need to know
- Dixie State University is asking for community input on the name change. Go here to weigh in.
- The LDS Church updated their General Handbook and the section on vaccinations continues to emphasize their importance, something the church has emphasized since at least 1978.
- In spite of zero public support and some strong opposition, the two remaining Utah County commissioners voted to move the entire budget office out from under the clerk/auditor's office and put it under their control.
- George Takei tweeted about Governor Cox's emotional statement during the session, saying "This is quite moving. Bravo, sir. We need more of this compassion in politics, particularly from Republicans."
- Goodbye empty middle seats. Delta is selling all seats again beginning May 1. It was one nice perk of pandemic travel.
13 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
23 days until the United Utah Party Organizing Convention (04/24/2021)
29 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
30 days until the in-person Utah GOP Organizing Convention (05/01/2021)
163 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyIt's been quite a month
By Holly Richardson
It's been an "interesting" Women's History Month. Check out this calender of news stories. Utah even makes the cut, appearing at Day 28. It's shocking and yet not shocking.
Tweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Mike Lee not opposed to vaccine 'passports' required by private businesses, bees and honeycomb and um, "trying to determine" if a severe beating counts as bullying as well as Utah County's power play and Sarah Palin wants people to wear masks.
Commentary: Utah's low rankings in gender equality should make us reassess our attitudes and policies
By Marie Poulson
I read with great interest LaVarr Webb's well-intentioned commentary "Gender 'equality' rankings often don't include key factors." In this article, he laments studies by "liberal" groups such as Wallet Hub who consistently rank Utah dead last in the nation for "women's rights." His wish was that these groups would acknowledge some key factors that might skew the results in Utah. Included were the following: That Utah women choose to stay home with their families, that they choose lower paid jobs to give priority to family and that they choose to avoid the pressure of running for political office. As a Utah woman who spent 18 years as a stay-at-home mom raising five children, 20 years in a career, and 12 years as a state legislator, I believe the answers are complicated. I'd like to offer my thoughts.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Number of new COVID-19 cases in Utah climbs back above 500 (Salt Lake Tribune) - The state also reported four more deaths and almost half a million people fully vaccinated.
- The COVID-19 vaccine side effects you can expect based on your age, sex, and dose (Business Insider) - Women and younger adults tend to have more side effects than men or older adults do and side effects are generally more pronounced after the second dose than the first.
- Pfizer/BioNTech says its Covid-19 vaccine is 100% effective and well tolerated in adolescents (CNN) - In a Phase 3 trial of 2,260 participants ages 12 to 15 in the US, the vaccine elicited strong antibody responses one month after the second dose -- exceeding those demonstrated in people ages 16 to 25 in previous trials.
- Factory Mix-Up Ruins Up to 15 Million Vaccine Doses From Johnson & Johnson (The New York Times) - A manufacturing subcontractor in Baltimore mixed ingredients from the coronavirus vaccines of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, setting back U.S. production of the "one-and-done" shot.
- CDC provides Easter coronavirus guidance, says fully vaccinated people can gather without masks (FOX News) - "Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this winter. If you do gather with people who don't live with you, gatherings and activities held outdoors are safer than indoor gathering."
- Covid-19 led to a global increase in stillbirths, maternal mortality, and depression, review finds (CNN) - Stillbirths and maternal deaths increased by nearly a third.
- Here are a few ways to keep your COVID-19 vaccination card safe (Press Democrat) - The CDC recommends taking a photo of the card as a backup copy, enroll in v-safe, or laminate the card after your second dose.
- Experts Warn Failure to Rapidly 'Vaccinate the World' Creates Dangerous Opening for Covid-19 Mutations (Common Dreams) - "We need a people's vaccine, not only to protect people in the world's poorest countries, but to ensure that people all over the world who've already been vaccinated aren't put at risk again."
- Vaccine enthusiasm continues to rise among US adults, poll shows (The Hill) - "Enthusiasm for getting the COVID-19 vaccine continues to grow among people across racial and ethnic backgrounds, with the largest increase this month among Black adults," the Kaiser Family Foundation stated in its report.
- This new COVID Symptom Study app lets you track your symptoms and share details with researchers (Deseret News) - "This COVID Symptoms Study app does allow people to basically input on a regular basis what symptoms you're experiencing, so this has allowed us to understand what proportion of people are really starting to report these long-term symptoms that we think are Long COVID."
- In Washington, 102 fully vaccinated people tested positive for COVID-19. Officials share why that's not too alarming (Deseret News) - The health department said these were examples of "vaccine breakthrough," which can happen with any vaccine. This is where the virus finds a way to evade the vaccine.
- Biden's infrastructure plan takes aim at Trump's biggest economic achievement (Politico) - While Democrats cast the tax increases as a matter of fairness, they also hope it will make good politics.
- Gaetz investigation complicated by overture to his father about ex-FBI agent who went missing (The Washington Post) - The messy political drama has in some ways diverted attention from a grim reality for the congressman. He remains under investigation for possible sex crimes, leaving him vulnerable to potentially serious legal jeopardy.
- The one *big* problem with Matt Gaetz's explanation (CNN) - The Department of Justice isn't saying anything.
- Republicans go to war over vaccine passports (Yahoo! News) - The fear among some Republicans is that curtailing the ability of nonvaccinated persons to reenter everyday life represents a form of government tyranny.
- America's next Covid-19 culture war is here (CNN) - It's not that different from parents showing proof of vaccination typically required to enroll kids in American schools, or those little yellow vaccine cards already required to travel in countries threatened by yellow fever, tuberculosis or other scourges. Yet the idea of "vaccine passports" has become the latest object of right-wing politicians' outrage.
- Georgia lawmaking ends with citizen's arrest repeal and big budget (AJC.com) - The citizen's arrest law has its roots in slavery, passed in 1863 to allow white Georgians to capture enslaved people who were fleeing to fight in the Union Army. The law was later used through the early 1900s to justify the lynching of Black people without repercussions. In a sign of bipartisan force, the measure passed the House on Wednesday on a vote of 169-0.
- President's infrastructure plan faces criticism over price tag, design (The Washington Post) - While there's widespread support for a large infrastructure bill, the details, especially Biden's plan to pay for it, are drawing early fire.
- Biden's infrastructure plan aims to turbocharge U.S. shift from fossil fuels (The Washington Post) - New standard would mandate renewable-energy use by utilities, while tax breaks and spending would promote climate-friendly technologies.
- Analysis: With Infrastructure Plan, Biden Is Betting on Big Government (The New York Times) - President Biden feels a burning sense of competition, his aides say, to prove that democratic capitalism can work.
Policy NewsBetter Utah publishes legislative progress report
Today, Alliance for a Better Utah published its annual Progress Report for the 2021 General Legislative Session. This year, lawmakers were graded for their votes on 66 important bills organized into four categories: Strong Communities, Equal Rights, Good Government, and Sustainable Future. All 104 legislators received overall grades, as well as grades in each of the four categories.
Anthony's Fine Art Exhibition: Remembering the Salt Lake Temple
COME SEE AND EXPERIENCE:ORIGINAL ARTIFACTS, MEMORABILIA, PHOTOGRAPHS AND WORKS OF ART
USGLC virtual town hall with Sen. Mitt Romney highlights importance of U.S. global leadership for countering China and supporting Utah's economy and national security
Today, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Utah political, business, and community leaders convened in a virtual town hall, where they agreed on the importance of America's diplomacy and development programs to address critical national priorities - like competition with authoritarian governments like China's - that impact the well-being and safety of all Americans - in Utah and across the country.
New report highlights even steeper long-term decline of greater sage grouse populations
Today, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report that raises serious questions about the future of the greater sage grouse and its ecosystem.Report findings showed an overall 80-percent decline in sage grouse populations in the western United States since 1965, with an average annual rate of loss estimated at 3 percent, a full percentage point higher than in previously available data prepared for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Reps Owens, Tiffany announce bill to ensure equal protection in Agriculture Department programs and activities
Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-07) today announced plans to introduce the Agriculture Civil Rights and Equality Act (ACRE Act), which would prohibit officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from discriminating or providing preferential treatment to any person based on race, color, national origin, or sex.
- Instagram officially launches Remix on Reels, a TikTok Duets-like feature (TechCrunch) - Instagram's new feature has been in public testing before today, so some Instagram users may have already gained access.
- Google cancels April Fools (The Verge) - "In 2020, we made the decision to pause our longstanding Google tradition of celebrating April Fools' Day, out of respect for all those fighting COVID-19. With much of the world still grappling with serious challenges, we will again pause the jokes for April Fools' Day in 2021," reads a statement.
- How to Get a Chronological News Feed in Facebook (LifeHacker) - Facebook is now kind-of, sort-of making it slightly easier to get a more customized News Feed within its iOS and Android apps.
On This Day In History
- 1507 - English guilds go under state control.
- 1621 - The Pilgrim-Wampanoag peace treaty is signed.
- 1700 - April Fool's pranks popularized.
- 1748 - Ruins of Pompeii discovered after being buried for 1700 years.
- 1789 - The first US House of Representatives elects its first speaker, Pennsylvania Representative Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg.
- 1919 - LDS April General Conference is delayed due to a pandemic.
- 1940 - Wangari Muta Maathai is born. Dr. Maathai became an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist, founder of the Green Belt Movement and was the first black woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
- 1946 - Alaskan earthquake triggers massive tsunami that killed 159 people in Hawaii.
- 1970 - Nixon signs legislation banning cigarette ads on TV and radio.
- 1976 - Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs start Apple Computer in Jobs' parents' garage.
- 2014 - 8.2 earthquake hits Chile
"Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect."
What's the difference between Thanksgiving and April Fools' Day?
One day you're thankful and the other you're prankful.
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