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Utah's COVID-19 Balancing Act

Renee Bright

How are state officials managing the delicate balancing act of protecting public health while also guarding the health of the economy?

Utah's economy took a hard hit with the state shut down in order to “crush the curve” of the coronavirus outbreak. But the effort was working. Reported cases of COVID-19 stabilized in April at around 200 a day. Then, priorities shifted. A recent ProPublica investigative report shows that decisions about Utah’s reopening efforts have increasingly prioritized economic health over public health. Hospital beds across the state are now rapidly filling with coronavirus patients. At 11 a.m. this Friday, we’re examining how critical decisions about reopening are being made and who’s making them.


  • Lisa Song, environment, climate change and engery reporter for ProPublica
  • Bethany Rogers, govenment reporter at the Salt Lake Tribune.

You can read the ProPublica article "Politicians and Business Interests Pushed Health Officials Aside to Control Reopening. Then Cases Exploded," by Lisa Song and Mollie Simon here.  

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this show, we identified Retired Adjutant General Jefferson Burton as the acting director of the Utah Department of Health. On Thursday, July 30, General Burton stepped down from his position with the UDOH. UDOH Chief Deputy Rich Saunders took over Burton's acting role on Friday, July 31.