Gov. Cox recaps meeting with President Biden, addresses vaccines in monthly town hall

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Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox speaks during a briefing at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 8, 2021. Utah lawmakers have voted to require every cellphone and tablet sold there to automatically block pornography, the conservative state’s most recent move targeting online porn and one that critics call a significant intrusion on free speech. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News, via AP, Pool, File)

Utah Governor Spencer Cox held his monthly town hall on Tuesday evening after meeting with President Joe Biden earlier in the day.

Utahns submitted a wide variety of questions for the Governor to cover, ranging from the Second Amendment, to education, to COVID-19.

Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox began the town hall by recapping his meeting with President Joe Biden, after joining a handful of other state governors from across the nation in a roundtable-like discussion on vaccine efforts on Tuesday morning.

As of Monday, May 10, 2,315,869 vaccines have been administered in Utah. According to the Utah Department of Health, 1,054,451 Utahns have been vaccinated. That’s nearly 33% of the state’s population and over 44% of those 16 and older.

Gov. Cox attributed much of Utah’s success in vaccinations to the state’s mobile vaccination clinics program.

In the town hall, Cox also criticized White House officials for not serving as better models on how those who have been fully vaccinated should behave, urging them to “follow the science.”

“You shouldn’t have to do all the things you did before [being fully vaccinated]. You shouldn’t have to wear a mask everywhere and when you’re outside with people,” Cox said.

One of the main points he stressed during the half-hour town hall was education, particularly teachers.

“It’s been a rough year for teachers across the board,” Cox said. “I’ve seen firsthand how dedicated our teachers have been in the most difficult of year.”

Cox said teacher retention is a significant problem in Utah, with many educators leaving the field within the first five years of entering it.

He says the state has significantly invested towards education, with much of that investment going to teachers, in an effort to make teaching a “career destination” again.

Another topic Cox addressed was the importance of bipartisanship, especially during such an important time in our country. While the Governor claims there is effective bipartisanship at the local level of Government here in Utah, Cox does not believe that’s the case in Washington D.C.

“It’s almost impossible to get anything done these days with bipartisan support. It’s very frustrating.” Gov. Cox said about Congress.

The Governor ended the town hall by thanking Utahns for their efforts in getting the vaccine, as statewide COVID-19 case numbers have steadily declined.

“It speaks to the hard work of so many people working to get vaccines out, to keep people safe, and to keep our economy rolling,” Gov. Cox said.

You can watch the Governor’s full town hall below:

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