wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

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 ProPublicainvestigative 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.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.