Former Gov. Leavitt: closures and restrictions are not an overreaction

Mar 16, 2020, 2:05 PM

FILE PHOTO (Kristin Murphy, KSL)

(Kristin Murphy, KSL)

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Gov. and former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt says officials are doing the right thing by ordering closures and restrictions in light of COVID-19.

In the last day, those restrictions grew to include ordering restaurants to restrict dine-in operations and requesting people limit non-essential travel outside their communities.

“This is a very aggressive strategy,” Leavitt told KSL’s Dave & Dujanovic. “But, candidly, I think we are doing the right thing.”

Leavitt says things have changed drastically over the last few days. He says the situation has moved from containment to mitigation.

“And, we’re now acknowledging we’re not going to stop this,” says Leavitt. “So, we now want to minimize the amount of disruption it can create and the amount of damage it can do by moving people who are particularly vulnerable to it out of its way.”

Leavitt says he understands some people might feel more restricted by these closures than others. He thinks younger people might not see their merit as much as someone in their 70s with an existing lung condition. Either way, he says we need to take this situation seriously.

Mike Leavitt, a Cedar City Republican, served as Utah’s governor from 1993 to 2003. He then served as director of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009.

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Former Gov. Leavitt: closures and restrictions are not an overreaction