Utah’s governor says mistakes were made during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jul 8, 2021, 5:42 PM | Updated: Jul 9, 2021, 7:32 am
Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaking with Washington Post reporter Frances Stead Sellers in a Faceboo...
Utah Governor Spencer Cox speaking with Washington Post reporter Frances Stead Sellers in a Facebook live interview for Leadership During Crisis: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Spencer Cox admits mistakes were made when working to control the spread of COVID-19 within the state.

One key issue Cox addressed with Washington Post senior writer, Frances Stead Sellers, was not providing enough concrete information to the public about the contagion. To Cox, competing interpretations about the severity of the pandemic played a role in residents distrusting the government and health officials’ expertise. 

Cox highlighted the mask debate as an example. At the start of the pandemic, when Cox was Utah’s Luetient Governor, he says they encouraged Utahns to wear masks.

However, Cox claimed they received pushback from the medical community, “telling us that masks didn’t work and that we shouldn’t be encouraging people to wear masks, that we would be giving them a false sense of security,” Cox told Sellers in a Facebook live Thursday. 

Shortly after, Cox says medical professionals backtracked their comments regarding masks. 

“That all flipped once some of the data started coming back and they said “Actually, no. Masks are really important and their one of the only tools we have to mitigate the spread of the virus and we should be encouraging masks,” Cox remarked. 

Situations such as this proved to be a hindrance in the fight against COVID-19, according to Cox. 

“Unfortunately, that led to more distrust when we do have good data and science,” Cox said. “It’s been harder to convince people to follow the data and science.”

Politics played a role in COVID-19 mistakes 

Another area Cox believes could have been avoided is bringing politics into a public health crisis. 

“I think we made mistakes on the right coming into the pandemic and on the left coming out of it,” said Cox. “And not trusting the science when it came to the outdoors and vaccinations,” Cox added. 

Altogether, Cox said a COVID-19 response mistake was involving politics in the discussion to begin with. 

“Politics have become a religion, politics have become a sport, politics have become entertainment,” said Cox. “And I think it’s a mistake.” 


We want to hear from you.

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

Today’s Top Stories

Science + Technology

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
4 days ago
Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger (left) and Kevin Systrom are pictured here during the 2019 SXSW ...
Jennifer Korn, CNN

Instagram’s founders are back with a new app

The Instagram founders are back with a new app.
7 days ago
FILE - This Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, file photo shows application icons from left, Facebook, Facebook...

Surgeon General says 13 is ‘too early’ to join social media

(CNN) — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms because although sites allow children of that age to join, kids are still “developing their identity.” Meta, Twitter, and a host of other social media giants currently allow 13-year-olds to join their platforms. […]
9 days ago
artificial intelligence banjo...
Curt Gresseth

ChatGPT: Plagiarism super-tool for students or AI brainstorming generator?

Will the future of AI be the interactive chatbot ChatGPT helping cheaters ace exams and tests or a new tool to assist all students in learning?
13 days ago
Curt Gresseth

Banks to launch app to compete with Apple Pay and Venmo

Banks are launching a new app for online money transfers that customers can trust to protect their finances.
14 days ago
Earth core structure. Elements of this image furnished by NASA (Adobe stock)...
Lianne Kolirin, CNN

Earth’s inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests

With a radius of almost 2,200 miles, Earth's core is about the size of Mars. It consists mostly of iron and nickel, and contains about about one-third of Earth's mass.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Utah’s governor says mistakes were made during the COVID-19 pandemic