Gov. Herbert says there are legitimate concerns over state contracts for COVID-19 response

May 7, 2020, 7:04 PM

COVID-19 response concerns...

UTAH STATE CAPITOL – Did hasty decisions about containing the coronavirus lead to state officials making bad deals? According to Governor Gary Herbert, most likely. 

“Was every decision the ‘best’ decision?  Probably not,” said Governor Herbert during a press conference on Thursday. 


However, he said he stands by the overall collective decisions state officials made to secure things Uthans needed during the initial spread of the disease.

The state first came under fire for spending $800 thousand on 20 thousand doses of hydroxychloroquine, which President Trump touted as a possible treatment for COVID-19. 

Since then, the Deseret News reports the state entered into a $5 million no-bid contract with NOMI Health for creating and for one month’s worth of testing at five drive-through locations.  Also, the state paid $2.75 million to Twenty for the Healthy Utah app and agreed to pay support fees of $300 thousand a month for one million active users.

Overall, the state has made over 300 purchases worth an estimated $90 million.  However, Herbert said the purchases were made in good faith, and the people who approved them did so in the best interest of public health.

“Unfortunately, for us, there has not been any playbook to look and research to help guide us as we try to find our way through this challenging time,” said the governor.

Herbert noted, when the outbreak began, other states had serious problems securing things like test kits, personal protective equipment and respirators. 

Normally, the state would formalize these contracts through a “request for proposal” process, and companies would make bids to earn the state’s business.  However, with so many other states having problems locking down necessities, Herbert stated there wasn’t enough time to go through the regular channels.

“If we had to through an RFP, which is a traditional way to do it, and it takes you two months, that would be today.  We’d finally be getting some results.  It’d be too late,” he said.

What Herbert says will happen moving forward

Since then, Herbert says purchases have slowed down, and the Unified Command Center will use more normal means to finalize contracts.  he says the state will fully cooperate with any inquiries into the contracts that were made.

Herbert says, “I think it’s human nature for all of us to want to, kind of, Monday-morning quarterback, as we say.  I think we all want to take a look back, certainly with the benefit of hindsight, and say, ‘Well, we should have done this or that or the other thing.’”

Also, he says they will look at any claims of price gouging, fraud or people using state funds for personal use.

“I will use the full weight of my office as governor to make sure those people are held accountable,” Herbert says.



From ‘we pay’ to Utah pays: How pandemic partnership became $5 million-plus contract

Critics say Healthy Utah app too expensive, state officials fire back

Housing advocates call on governor to extend hold on evictions to July

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


The New Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, Miller Family Campus, in Lehi is dedicated at ...

Heather Peterson

One third of Utah hospitals not in compliance with hospital price transparency law

Hospitals have been required to post a list of the prices they charge for services since January 1, 2021.

14 hours ago

code blue alert issued for multiple northern Utah counties...

Becky Bruce

Code Blue Alert issued for multiple northern Utah counties

Salt Lake County declared a Code Blue Alert on Sunday night and multiple Utah counties expected similar conditions Monday.

1 day ago


Michelle Lee

The hidden dangers of too much sugar

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Health Educator Troy Duell to learn about the hidden dangers of sugar.

2 days ago

Chief of Police for Price City Police Department, Brandon Sicilie, holding PeeDee....

Britt Johnson

Abandoned puppy finds a home at the Price Police Department

PeeDee, a puppy found on the side of a roadway during a dispatch call, has found a new home with the Price City Police Department.

4 days ago

cdc sign shown, the agency updated its covid guidelines...

Brenda Goodman, CNN

CDC drops 5-day isolation guidance for COVID-19

The CDC says it’s updating its guidance for Covid-19 to bring it in line with its advice for other kinds of respiratory infections, including influenza and RSV.

4 days ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Gov. Herbert says there are legitimate concerns over state contracts for COVID-19 response