Dave & Dujanovic: Leavitt celebrates vaccine but says COVID-19 war isn’t over

Nov 20, 2020, 2:57 PM
election racist...
(President Trump, left, speaking in Arizona, September 14, 2020. Former VP Joe Biden speaking in Florida September 15, 2020. Credit, Associated Press)
(President Trump, left, speaking in Arizona, September 14, 2020. Former VP Joe Biden speaking in Florida September 15, 2020. Credit, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY —  Recent events are trending toward good in the battle to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. And those working behind the scenes to win this COVID-19 war will do their best, according to a former Utah leader.

Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Therapeutics are nearing final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their COVID-19 vaccines.

During a meeting Wednesday at the Emergency Operations Center at the State Capitol, Rich Lakin, director of immunizations at the Utah Department of Health, said he expects to see the first phase of 100,000 doses of the vaccine arriving in December.

More work to do in the COVID-19 war

Former Utah governor and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt joined Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic Friday to discuss the encouraging developments.

Leavitt celebrated the good news along with Dave and Debbie, but cautioned listeners this is just the beginning and more work lies ahead.

“We need to get through the next four months or five months because the virus is still going to be with us during that time and it’s growing in numbers fast,” Leavitt said. 

Quick turnaround

Dave asked Leavitt for his perspective on moving quickly from no vaccine to what looks like promising vaccines from at least two pharmaceutical companies in just eight months.

“Vaccine development is measured in years, not months,” Leavitt said. “And it typically can be four, five, six years. Doing it in eight months is a tribute to science, commitment, huge investment — not just here but around the world.”

Healthcare workers across the nation will be the first to be inoculated.

Leavitt said he believes the second wave of vaccinations will target Americans older than 65 who have underlying conditions.

After that, he said the third wave of vaccinations will likely go to at-risk workers like teachers, then expand to the general population who are at lower risk by spring.

“But we’ll have a lot more experience by then,” Leavitt said. 

Politics of pandemics

Dave asked whether the Trump administration’s reluctance to transfer power to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is damaging the vaccine implementation program across the country.

“Pandemics and politics have always, unfortunately, come together,” said Leavitt, who sits on the Center for Presidential Transition Advisory Board.

“When you’re dealing with a pandemic, you’re dealing with people who have different priorities, different risk tolerances, different philosophies,” he said. “That has clearly played out here.” 

Leavitt said President Donald Trump deserves the credit for a vaccine being developed during his time in office.

“In a political atmosphere, there are people anxious to take it away,” he said. 

Leavitt said he thinks the transition of power will happen regardless if Mr. Trump cooperates.

“Those who are handling the vaccine want it to go well and they’ll do their best. Those who are coming in are professionals, and they know what to do,” he said. “I wish there was better cooperation, but I think it’s going to happen no matter what.”

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

u of u student arrested...
Waverly Golden

Other paths to consider when thinking about attending college

Following the student loan forgiveness announcement, college is on everyone's mind. Dave Noriega takes an in-depth look at the alternatives.
3 days ago
Utah Democrats Gene Davis...
Simone Seikaly

Attorney for Sen. Gene Davis says Davis won’t resign from the Utah Senate

The Salt Lake County Democratic Party asked for Davis to resign immediately because of allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
6 days ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
7 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah talks about what FBI can take off your cellphone

A legal expert joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how the FBI can obtain evidence of a crime from a cellphone.
11 days ago
centerville arson fire...
Curt Gresseth

What’s behind random acts of violence in Utah?

What's behind a recent spate of random violence in Uta?. A sleeping couple at home in West Valley City is stabbed by an intruder. A stranger enters a home with three elderly people in Centerville and burns it down. Greg Skordas, KSL legal analyst breaks down what he thinks is motivating young people to commit random acts of violence.
12 days ago
Government contractors erect a section of Pentagon-funded border wall along the Colorado River. (AP...
Curt Gresseth

Yuma mayor talks about migrants illegally crossing into city: US has the laws to fix problem

An Arizona mayor talks with Dave & Dujanovic about migrants coming into the country illegally. He says the U.S. has the laws to fix the problems.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Dave & Dujanovic: Leavitt celebrates vaccine but says COVID-19 war isn’t over