‘The Rundown’: Cox mulling executive action to circumvent mask ban

Your Thursday morning Utah political cheat sheet

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Good Thursday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

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Here’s what you need to know for Thursday morning:

😷 During a closed-door meeting, Gov. Spencer Cox told health officials and school superintendents he was considering an executive order to allow schools to institute a mask mandate. [Tribune]

🚨 Chaos in Afghanistan. The U.S. Embassy issued an alarming security alert on Wednesday, warning U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport in Kabul because of a specific threat from an offshoot of ISIS. [CNN]

  • The U.S. says 1,500 Americans remain in Afghanistan with just days left to evacuate them from the country. [WSJ]

  • At least 250,000 Afghans who worked with U.S. forces have not been evacuated yet. [NYT]

👀 The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol requested a massive tranche of documents from numerous government agencies. Former President Donald Trump threatened to invoke executive privilege to block the release of some documents. [CNN]

💉 The Pentagon mandated U.S. military service members get the COVID-19 vaccine immediately. [CNN]

💉 The Biden administration is likely to approve COVID booster shots 6 months after the previous dose. [WSJ]

💉 Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned mandates on COVID-19 vaccines. [Texas Tribune]

🦠 COVID cases in South Dakota increased five-fold following the Sturgis motorcycle rally. [NBC News]

🦠 Mississippi has quarantined 15% of all K-12 students in the state due to COVID-19 exposure. [Mississippi Free Press]

🦠Delta Airlines will force some unvaccinated employees to pay more in health insurance costs. [Tribune]

💵 Only 11% of the billions of dollars set aside for federal rental assistance has been distributed locally. [AP]

🔥 Massive wildfires near Lake Tahoe have dropped air quality there to toxic levels. [SF Gate]

💻 OnlyFans dropped its plans to ban sexually explicit content on its platform. [Variety]

🏛 Utah State School Board member Natalie Cline could be censured for a social media post critical of LGBTQ students at Layton High School. The post lead to some threats of violence. [Tribune]

Dinah the Dinosaur contest

Yesterday we asked our readers to identify four errors in this social media post from GOP U.S. Senate candidate Becky Edwards.

“The Rundown” reached out to the Edwards campaign to see if they had a comment about the unfortunate social media post. They responded by email.

Dear Dinah, the pinkest dinosaur in Utah,

We deeply regret that we misplaced you in Duchesne County and included a typo to boot. We hope this hasn’t forever ruined our relationship. We love you and so many things about Uintah County. Next time we’re in town, Antica Forma is on us.

P.S. #utpol #utleg for Twitter, where we know Bryan Schott spends most of his time.

-- Team Becky

Image from @beckyforutah on Instagram

The first three errors were pretty easy to identify.

  • Duchesne County is misspelled.

  • Vernal is Uintah County, not Duchesne.

  • It should read “one for the books.”

The last one was a stumper. Some guessed that the truck on the sidewalk was the error. Others suggested the picture had been photoshopped or was an old photo.

Only one person guessed the obvious error: Dinosaurs aren’t pink.

Congratulations to Becky LaDuca! We’re sending you a copy of I Alone Can Fix It.

Thanks to everybody for reading and sending in emails. We’ll have another giveaway soon.

Thursday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • Detox center in Salt Lake City’s Ballpark neighborhood may become an overflow homeless shelter. [Tribune]

  • ‘We export our kids’ — Why this scenic Utah county is quickly growing old. [Tribune]

  • Family of two women found dead in Moab mourns the loss of young couple. [Tribune]

  • Scofield runs out of drinking water. [Fox 13]

Weather and Environment

  • Expect more smoke — and maybe some rain — on Wednesday and Thursday. [Tribune]

  • Study: Wildfire smoke exposure increases risk of preterm birth. [Deseret News]

  • Long-term forecasts show Utah’s drought possibly getting worse. [Fox 13]


  • East and Lone Peak high schools cancel football game due to COVID-19 concerns. [Tribune]

  • Less ‘bang for the buck’ with COVID-19 booster shots, University of Utah experts say. [Deseret News]

  • Salt Lake Mayor Mendenhall ordered masks in K-12 schools. Did families comply? [Deseret News]

In the opinion pages

  • Opinion: Would you rather take horse medicine or a COVID-19 vaccine? [Deseret News]

  • Opinion: Leave no one behind in Afghanistan. [Deseret News]

— The Tribune’s Jordan Miller contributed to this report.