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Letter: Gov. Cox’s COVID-19 leadership will ring hollow

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox talks with friends as he is welcomed back to his hometown of Fairview, Sanpete County, as he and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson and their families make their way toward Salt Lake City after the inaugural ceremony earlier in the day at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins near St. George on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Newly sworn-in Gov. Spencer Cox exhibited concerning behavior in the past few days: He met with many groups external to his immediate family on Saturday and Sunday; he assembled more than 1,000 individuals for his inauguration, again the majority not members of his immediate family; and then he visited multiple cities throughout Utah, including Fillmore, Fairview, Spanish Fork and finally Salt Lake City.

Unfortunately, Cox is demonstrating a key behavior that has prompted many to stop listening to government recommendations related to reducing COVID-19 cases: Do as I say but not as I do. Like California Gov. Newsom, Denver Mayor Hancock, and even Dr. Birx, Cox ignored CDC guidelines.

Cox will argue that he and others were wearing masks, but masks are only 85% effective. Cox will claim that many were tested. Yet, you can test negative on Sunday and be infectious on Monday.

Lt. Gov. Henderson, despite a grim encounter with COVID-19 and its complications, participated as well. Indeed, former Gov. Huntsman participated despite his and his family’s challenges created by COVID-19. Both should have known better, but political elites seem unwilling to abide by the rules imposed on others.

Utah will experience a tsunami of COVID-19 cases in the next few weeks. Cox will have to find ways to tame this wave which will include impacts to ICU availability. Yet, his words will be far less effective due to his actions. Let’s hope that future decisions by Cox prove far better than his actions the past few days.

Thomas Murray

St. George