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Gov. Cox says Utah is in good shape exiting pandemic

FILE -- Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during the PBS Utah Governor’s Monthly News Conference at the Eccles Broadcast Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has the best economy and the lowest unemployment in the nation. The good jobs are out there for residents who want one, said Gov. Spencer Cox, reflecting on how things are going as we exit the pandemic.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden hosted  Cox and five other governors — Democrats and Republicans — to discuss each states’ rollout of their COVID-19 vaccines.

Biden told Cox, “You’re doing a heck of a job,” according to the Deseret News.

Welcome to the program

Cox joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to talk about the vaccine rollout, the crisis at the Southern border and job opportunities for those Utahns who are out of work during the pandemic.

“It does seem like Utah is ahead of the curve nationally on a lot of the things relating to vaccines and to many parts of the pandemic,” Boyd said.

“It’s nice to see that recognized on a federal level,” Cox said. “Just today we saw the CDC changing their guidelines. If you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask everywhere as they’ve been telling us to do. That’s a welcome change.”

Border crisis

“Another national conversations you’ve been a part of during this week was you joined 18 other governors with a letter to President Biden and the administration talking about the crisis at the border,” Boyd said.

“I’ve had issues with the way every administration has handled this. I’ve been pretty vocal about it, so this isn’t just a rank partisanship,” Cox said. “If you look at past surges [of refugees], this is far larger and far outnumbering the number of people. . . . This is a huge increase in a humanitarian crisis that has to be dealt with the right way.”

“The governors and the local communities have not been involved in a lot of this process,” Boyd said “but the states and the communities end up carrying a lot of the burden as they compassionately try to help many of these refugees and those who have come across the border.”

“That’s the disappointing piece, and that’s the case we tried to make in all of our conversations with the White House . . . and that is to really work with with locals,” Cox said. “That’s how we solve these problems. We really do know better what’s happening in our states and what’s happening in our communities. That gets lost sometimes in Washington, D.C.”

Cox, Utah’s economy and the pandemic

“One area where the state continues to lead out is in our economics and our economic outlook. . . . For the 14th year in a row, Utah is at the top of the heap, even coming out of the pandemic,” Boyd said.

“It’s remarkable the new businesses that are coming out of here [Utah]. Having the right mix of government regulation — or lack of government regulation is probably the better way to put it — low taxes and really empowering our citizens,” Cox said.


“We also announced that we’re rolling back the pandemic extensions on unemployment. We have the lowest unemployment in the nation. Starting the first of July, we need people to get back to work. There are three to five jobs available for every [unemployed] person on the pandemic extension right now,” Cox said. “There are so many opportunities. It’s never been easier to get training, to up-skill, to find good work. Work that pays even better.”


Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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