SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Community leaders and community members called on politicians to stay out of public health orders Saturday.

The Concerned Coalition hosted a rally attended by a couple of hundred people at the Utah State Capitol where several voices and many opinions were heard.

Organizers and community leaders told ABC 4 they want lawmakers to make sure they include doctors and healthcare leaders when they make decisions about public health measures. 

“Science is not a hoax,” said former Utah Department of Health Deputy Director, Dr. Marc Babitz. “Science is what helps us move forward.”

“Our legislature has made it nearly impossible to truly use these tools in our community even in the face of a crisis,” said Concerned Coalition President Chris Phillips.”

The community members at the rally said it’s becoming increasingly difficult for public health leaders, school boards, and community leaders to curb the Covid crisis because of the legislature.

“I firmly believe the local health decisions should be made by the local health experts,” said health care worker Laurie Darnell.

“My plea is Utah and America is please wake up from this nightmare,” said Dr. Babitz. “Do not be the last country or state in the nation to figure out how to do the right thing.”

Many speakers took to the microphone to voice their displeasure with lawmakers and call on them to do better.

Senate President Stuart Adams responded to the rally and provided this statement to ABC 4.

“Utah has been recognized by many as one of the best states for how it managed the COVID-19 pandemic. We have and will continue to take a balanced approach to saving lives, livelihoods and kids’ education.”

Phillips said the rally is in response to House Bill 182 and S..J.R. 3 making their way through the legislature.

Neither has been officially passed, but the basis of both, according to Phillips does not have the best interest of Utahns in mind.

“We are not so naive to think that politics and public health aren’t connected,” said Phillips. “Of course they are, but we are at our best when our politicians have the wisdom and humility to consult and defer to public health leaders on issues they are trained to address.”

The Concerned Coalition said one of its many goals is to make classrooms safer.

ABC 4 also reached out to Utah Parents United who provided this statement:

“Utah Parents United asserts that parents are the primary authority when it comes to the care and education of their children. We applaud the state legislature for overturning mask mandates to allow families to decide what is best for their children.  The most local control is the parent.  We trust the parents of Utah to consult with their own health care providers to understand the needs of their children and act accordingly.”