President Donald Trump | KUER 90.1

President Donald Trump

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday just hours after the House approved it amidst the deepening crisis over the pandemic.

"This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers and businesses. And that's what this is all about," Trump said at a signing ceremony in the Oval Office.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

President Trump told governors his administration is working on publishing guidelines for state and local governments to use to determine whether to increase or relax social distancing rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement came ahead of the White House's regular news conference on its response to the pandemic.

Updated at 1:50 a.m. ET Thursday

The White House's pandemic task force convened another briefing on Wednesday afternoon amid a tense denouement for legislation aimed at helping an economy poleaxed by the disaster.

Last-minute objections on Wednesday delayed the Senate vote until late in the evening, when it passed on a vote of 96 to 0.

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

Updated at 7:35 p.m. ET

In his Tuesday afternoon briefing with the coronavirus task force, President Trump couched earlier comments about the need to reopen the U.S. economy within weeks, emphasizing that the decision would ultimately be data driven and made in consultation with public health experts.

The president said he still wants Americans working again by Easter Sunday, something he first said during a virtual town hall with Fox News earlier in the day. But he was much more circumspect over whether that would be possible from a medical standpoint.

Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to clear the way to expand the types of medicines or treatments available during the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump said Thursday.

Early trials have begun for a prospective coronavirus vaccine, and the FDA also is working to permit patients to have access to medicines approved for use in other countries or for other uses.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn stressed that the agency is moving as quickly as it can while still following protocol to ensure safety standards are met.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

President Trump has proposed sending money directly to Americans to help blunt the economic impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic, saying it's time to "go big" to boost the now-stalled economy.

Trump said he wants Congress to push through a major comprehensive package to help businesses and workers facing hardships — one of many abrupt shifts the administration has made this week as the scope of the pandemic has come into sharp focus.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump announced new coronavirus guidelines for at least the next 15 days, including that Americans should avoid groups of more than 10 people.

In a briefing at the White House on Monday, he also urged people to avoid discretionary travel and going out to bars, restaurants and food courts. He recommended that schools close.

The stricter guidelines marked a shift for the president, who has repeatedly stated that the virus is under control.

"Whatever it takes, we're doing," Trump said.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. ET

President Trump on Friday declared that the coronavirus pandemic is a national emergency, a designation that frees up as much as $50 billion in federal assistance to state and local governments overwhelmed by the spread of the virus, and makes it easier to surge medical resources to areas that need them most.

Updated at 12:34 a.m. ET Thursday

President Trump announced a 30-day ban on travel from European countries to the United States, beginning on Friday at midnight, in a bid "to keep new cases" of coronavirus "from entering our shores."

The restrictions, he said late Wednesday, do not apply to travelers from the United Kingdom.

Photo of a sign that says vote here outside of a building
Jon Reed / KUER

Utahns joined voters in 13 other states on Super Tuesday to cast their votes in the Democratic primary. Turnout for the presidential primary broke the 2008 record, which was the last time Utah had a stand-alone primary.

Photo of a Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo sitting in a tree.
nps.gov/courtesy of Gary Botello

Friday morning, Feb. 28, 2020

Photo of the truck at the mine
Peabody Energy

The Trump administration controversially reopened public lands to new coal leases on Wednesday, saying the move won’t significantly impact the environment — a finding conservation groups call laughable. 

Updated at 10:17 p.m. ET

Hours after the White House rejected the idea of appointing a coronavirus czar, President Trump on Wednesday put Vice President Pence in charge of the administration's response to the disease.

"We're doing really well, and Mike is going to be in charge," Trump said, noting that Pence's experience as governor of Indiana made him adept at working with state and local health authorities.

"This is not a czar," the president later added.

Photo of pigs on a farm
Pxfuel

It looks like President Trump’s partial trade deal with China won’t bring in the promised $40 billion or so worth of agricultural trade for the U.S. this year. 

Photo of two golf carts
Courtesy of Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker via <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/30478819@N08/29613480388">Flickr</a> / View <a href="https://foto.wuestenigel.com/park-golf-carts/?utm_source=29613480388&utm_campaign=FlickrDescription&utm_medium=link">original photo</a> and <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative Commons license</a>.

We’re more than halfway through the Utah legislative session, and lots of bills have been making big headlines in the state. But with just 45 days, there are probably more than a few that you may have missed. KUER’s Caroline Ballard went to the state Capitol pressroom to catch up with political reporter Sonja Hutson.

Photo of man signing a piece of paper on a clipboard.
iStock

Thursday evening, Feb. 20, 2020

Photo of two people looking out at a vista.
Bureau of Land Management

Listen to this story here.

After congressional Democrats voted this week to give one of their own the power to subpoena the Trump administration, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt dismissed the move as a “witch hunt.”

A field of sagebrush glows in the morning light. A mesa rises in the background.
David Fuchs / KUER

Listen to the story here.

KANAB — As the debate over public lands management intensifies under the Trump administration, Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears have become household names. 

Photo of a man hiking
Nate Hegyi / Mountain West News Bureau

Southern Utah’s red rock desert is home to towering canyons and the clear, shallow Escalante River. It’s also home to many ancient petroglyphs. Jonathan Paklaian is trying to find one along the banks of the river. He scrambles along a cliff wall until he spots it — a petroglyph he says was drawn more than 800 years ago by the Indigenous Fremont people. 

Updated at 2:42 p.m. ET

President Trump declared victory on Thursday, a day after being acquitted by the Senate on two articles of impeachment, and lashed out at his political opponents in lengthy extemporaneous remarks.

"We went through hell, unfairly. I did nothing wrong," he said in a public statement from the White House.

"It was all bulls***," he said, tracing his impeachment woes back to investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Photo of the drilling rig.
Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump somewhat misrepresented his administration’s role in the expansion of domestic oil and gas production during his State of the Union address Tuesday. 

Photo of Sen. Mitt Romney at a podium in Senate chambers.
Screenshot NPR Live Stream

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney became the lone Republican to cross party lines in his vote to convict President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial, becoming the only Republican to break from the party. 

Updated 5:43 p.m. ET

The Senate has voted to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — ending a months-long process of investigations and hearings and exposing a sharply divided Congress and country.

Acquittal on the first article was 52-48, with Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah becoming the only senator to cross party lines. Trump was cleared of the second charge on a straight party-line vote of 53-47.

Convicting and removing Trump from office would have required 67 votes.

Photo of President Donald Trump giving his State of the Union address
NPR live video

Utah’s members of Congress echoed President Donald Trump in celebrating a strong economy but they also praised a handful of bipartisan measures like a new trade deal following the president's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Illustration of microphones.
Angela Hsieh / NPR

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is delivering the Democratic response to President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address. Watch her remarks live and follow a live annotation of her remarks, with fact checks and analysis from NPR reporters.

President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, the day before his Senate impeachment trial is scheduled to wrap.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

House Democrats and President Trump's defense team made their final arguments in the Senate impeachment trial before lawmakers vote later this week on whether to remove Trump from office.

Both sides presented opposing versions of the president's handling of aid for Ukraine last summer and the impeachment proceedings so far, before ultimately arriving at divergent conclusions.

Photo of Lost Mesa from Paiute Mesa, near Navajo Mountain, Utah.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

Friday evening, Jan. 31, 2020

Updated at 8:00 p.m. ET

The Senate impeachment trial adjourned Friday evening, with a plan to return Monday morning to continue. Closing arguments will be presented Monday, after which senators will be permitted to speak on the floor. A final vote, during which President Trump is expected to be acquitted, is expected next Wednesday around 4 p.m. ET.

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