Some Rural Commissioners Worried State Is Overreacting

Mar 19, 2020

Several county commissioners representing rural Utah communities are accusing Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox of overreacting to the threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

In a letter dated Tuesday, March 17, a group of 17 elected county leaders and one state representative warned that the statewide dismissal of schools and limited access to dining services will cause irreparable harm to the state’s economy.

Among those signing the letter is State Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding. He joined three commissioners from Iron County, two from Uintah County, Garfield County commissioners, several from Beaver County, two each from Piute and Kane counties, and one each from Washington and Cache counties.  

They claim the push for more viral tests to be performed gives the illusion that the steep incline of confirmed cases represents the actual slope of the spread of the virus. And, they say, a confirmation bias is leading to elevated panic, quarantine, and irreparable economic damage.

The group is calling for Herbert to restore stability by ignoring what they refer to as “pandemonium and political pressure” they say is extending the fear and disrupting the economy.