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Situational Analysis - January 25, 2021
It's Monday and National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Coincidentally, it is also National Fun at Work Day. Live it up!
Over the weekend, we lost both Hank Aaron and Larry King. We also lost Rufino Rodriguez, a 65-year old respiratory therapist in UVRMC's NICU who died of COVID-19. Originally a physician in Guatemala, he became a respiratory therapist in the states. He spent more than 30 years helping over 35,000 babies - including one of my daughters. He was a key member of the LifeFlight team picking up tiny babies. His friends and co-workers gathered on his last night, shining lights into his room and the LifeFlight helicopter doing a fly-by outside his hospital window. Rufino, who spent his life helping babies breathe, died, out of breath, from COVID. If you only have time for one thing today, watch this short story on his life and death. I can't help but be moved by it.
39 days to the end of the 2021 Utah Legislature (3/5/21)
79 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
95 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyLloyd Austin confirmed, vaccine trials halted, Russian protests
By Holly Richardson
Lots of news over the weekend. Here are three stories you'll want to know about:Historic appointment - On Friday, the former U.S. Central Command leader, Lloyd Austin was confirmed, becoming the first Black defense secretary in U.S. history. The vote of 93-2 was a strong show of bipartisan support, with only Utah Senator Mike Lee and Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri voting no.
Tweets of the day: Gov. Cox gives a rundown on Utah's COVID response
By Holly Richardson
Setting the record straight: Governor Spencer Cox responded to a news article yesterday in a series of tweets. In them, he reaffirms his commitment to transparency and then details how many vaccines Utah has gotten, how many shots are now in arms and what the state does and does not know.
Guest opinion: Facts trump speculation
By Tony Graf
On Inauguration Day 2021, Representative Chris Stewart wrote a piece in the Deseret News that we should pursue mutual respect, healing and " boldly investigate questions of election integrity" As it relates to mutual respect and healing, I agree. However, I question our ability to heal as a Party (Republican) and as a nation if we continue to embrace speculation fueled by misinformation, especially as it relates to our recent election.
- Romney says impeachment trial is necessary for 'accountability ... truth and justice' - "I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense. If not, what is?"
- Why Mitt Romney loses points with Utah Republicans, scores big with Democrats - New poll shows GOP Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney have high disapproval ratings among Utah voters
- Xavier Becerra's future role in your family life - The California attorney general is expected to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. He would be the first Hispanic to head the department, particularly significant at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is hitting ethnic populations particularly hard.
- Vaccine tourism, explained - Frustrated with their own state's rollout, people are visiting different states to get a vaccine.
- 6 priorities of Gov. Spencer Cox's first 500 days in office - "One Utah Roadmap" focuses on economic advancement, education innovation and investment, rural matters, health security, equality and opportunity, and state government efficiency
- Proposed Dixie State University name change evokes emotional debate - Some on panel discussion say the name does harm while others argue it's a 'unique and enviable brand'
- Couldn't find toilet paper during pandemic? Blame anti-gouging laws, Weber State prof says - There are 3 bills in the Utah legislature that propose changes to or a repeal of Utah's anti-gouging laws.
- Talk of new state flag design for Utah raises concern from some lawmakers - Bill passes out of committee 3-2.
Salt Lake Tribune
- Moms are bearing the brunt of U.S. COVID-19 job losses (Deseret News) - The industries hardest hit by COVID-19 reads like a Venn diagram of the occupations most occupied by women - leisure, hospitality, pink-collar service jobs and caregiving.
- Covid-19 Bill Negotiations Offer First Test of Biden's Bipartisanship Effort (Wall Street Journal) - The task is made more difficult as partisan lines are hardening in the Senate over the impeachment fate of his predecessor.
- Bernie Sanders: Dems will use reconciliation to pass Covid relief 'as soon as we possibly can' (Politico) 50 votes in the Senate plus the vice president's vote are needed to pass. Republicans used reconciliation in 2017 to pass tax reform.
- How West Virginia Became a U.S. Leader in Vaccine Rollout (The New York Times) West Virginia created a network of pharmacies in the state, pairing them with about 200 long-term care facilities.
- CDC director says federal government does not know how much Covid vaccine the U.S. has (CNBC) - "I can't tell you how much vaccine we have, and if I can't tell it to you then I can't tell it to the governors and I can't tell it to the state health officials," CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
- Here's how long will it take to vaccinate enough adults to defeat COVID-19 (Deseret News) - At the current rate, it will be February 2022.
- COVID-19 vaccines appear to be less effective against new mutations, Dr. Fauci says (Deseret News)
- Dr. Fauci says second COVID-19 vaccine shot knocked him out for 24 hours (Deseret News) - "Fatigued. A little achy. You know. Chilly. Not sick," said Fauci.
- No one knows what's going to happen with COVID-19 right now. Here's why (Deseret News) - The new variants are cause for uncertainty and concern.
- Coronavirus: Utah responds to the pandemic (Deseret News) - 336,405 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 1,595 total deaths as of Sunday
- 4 ways to deal with COVID-19 symptoms (Deseret News) - The CDC recommends over-the-counter pain relievers, a humidifier, lots of liquids and quarantining.
- Coronavirus in Utah: Though daily positive rate climbs back over 20%, weeklong numbers reflect some good trends (Salt Lake Tribune) - Rolling 7-day average numbers and positivity rate are down.
- Democrats press ahead with second impeachment trial, as GOP is divided on how to defend Trump (Washington Post)
- Growing number of GOP senators oppose impeachment trial (Yahoo! News) - Calling it "vindictive," "stupid," "moot" and a "waste of time," numerous GOP Senators want to just move on.
- Letters to the Editor: Oh, now Mitch McConnell wants a thorough impeachment trial? (Los Angeles Times) - McConnell is the same man who wouldn't allow any testimony at Trump's first impeachment trial
- Rudy Giuliani Sued by Dominion Voting Systems Over False Election Claims - The suit against Mr. Giuliani, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump who pushed to overturn the election results, accuses him of carrying out "a viral disinformation campaign."
- Biden to lift Pentagon's ban on transgender people serving in military (ABC News) - The controversial ban was announced by former President Trump in 2017 through a tweet and reversed the Obama administration's policy to allow open service by transgender people.
- Mexican President Lpez Obrador tests positive for Covid-19 (NBC News) - Says his symptoms are mild while Mexico is in the grip of a second wave of the pandemic and the fourth-highest death toll worldwide.
- Sarah Sanders expected to announce bid for Arkansas governor on Monday (CNN) - The daughter of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will likely face a primary challenge -- multiple top Republicans in the state have already announced a bid -- but she is widely seen as an early favorite for the position.
- Transportation officials weigh options to enforce Biden's mask requirement for travelers (CNN) - Flight attendants and other transportation employees find themselves on the front lines as tense situations have in some cases turned rowdy, and even violent, when a passenger refuses to mask up.
- Senate Republican threatens impeachments of past Democratic presidents (The Guardian) - "If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?" tweeted Senator John Cornyn.
- Biden attends Mass at DC church where he worshipped as VP (Associated Press) - Biden picked Holy Trinity Catholic Church where the nation's only other Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, often went to Mass.
Policy NewsZions Bank January economic snapshot
This month's Economic Snapshots provide an overview of state and national trends highlighting indicators such as employment, demographics, housing, consumer sentiment and more. A few of this month's points of interest include the following:
Parsons Behle & Latimer announces new CEO, new board
Parsons Behle & Latimer (Parsons) a preeminent Salt Lake City-based law firm is pleased to announce its new Board of Directors and officers for 2021; and with profound gratitude, announces that President and CEO Hal J. Pos will step down from his position on the firm's board of directors, after 25 years of dedicated service and visionary leadership.
Celebrating School Choice Week this week
In the midst of a school year like no other, Utah families and educators are gearing up to safely spotlight education options during School Choice Week 2021Utah families, schools, and organizations are hosting 244 virtual or at-home celebrations during the Week. One of these activities will be the launch of a video series highlighting Utah charter school students, teachers, parents, and staff across the state.
Rep. John Curtis joins Energy and Commerce Committee
Utah's Third Congressional Representative, John Curtis, was recently appointed to the Energy and Commerce Committee. The E&C Committee has wide jurisdiction over critical issues including healthcare, telecommunications, technology, consumer safety, environment, food and drug safety, energy, and interstate and foreign commerce. Established in 1795, the committee is the oldest continuous standing committee in the House of Representatives.
Ute Indian tribe of the Uintah and Ouray reservation oppose Biden's leasing/permitting ban
Tribal membersfrom the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation came out yesterday opposed to the Biden Administration's 60-day leasing and permitting ban. The letter below was sent to acting Secretary of the Interior, Scott de la Vega.
On This Day In History
- 1554 - So Paulo, Brazil is founded.
- 1759 - Scottish poet Robert Burns is born.
- 1776 - First national memorial ordered by Congress in honor of Brigadier General Richard Montgomery.
- 1783 - William Colgate is born.
- 1858 - Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" first played, at the wedding of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Victoria, to crown prince of Prussia.
- 1882 - Author Virginia Woolf is born.
- 1890 - Nellie Bly, journalist, completed her around the world trip in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days
- 1905 - World's largest diamond is found in South Africa. It weighs 3,106 carats.
- 1915 - Alexander Graham Bell in NY calls Thomas Watson in San Francisco
- 1924 - The first Winter Olympics is held in Chamonix, France with 13 total events.
- 1947 - Al Capone dies of neurosyphilis at age 48.
- 1961 - JFK becomes the first president to hold a televised news conference.
- 1971 - Charles Manson and his followers convicted of murder.
- 1981 - Chairman Mao's widow is sentenced to death for her counter-revolutionary crimes.
- 1983 - Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie arrested in Bolivia.
- 2017 - Mary Tyler Moore dies at age 80.
"Books are the mirrors of the soul."
The sky was looking ominous so I asked Siri, "Surely, it's not going to rain today?"
And she replied, "Yes it is, and don't call me Shirley."
That was when I realized I'd left my phone on Airplane mode.
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