The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to our state’s public health and economy, and we are not out of the woods yet. However, Utah has the potential to lead the country in recovering from this difficult time. We have some of the best medical facilities in the nation.

Instead of spending taxpayer money on unproven and dangerous drugs, our legislature should be funding COVID-19 research at our universities, so we can find solutions that are tested and we know will actually work. If we can empower and trust our medical experts as they try to guide us through this crisis, we will be safer and find solutions that will protect the public.

It is crucial that our state legislature work together to get Utah through this crisis. The politicization of this virus is unacceptable. Our decisions on re-opening and public health measures should be driven by actual data, based on the best scientific evidence we have, not politics. Whether it’s social distancing, wearing a mask, or any other health recommendation, our leaders should be leading by word and example. Doing these things will allow us to slow the spread of this virus while keeping our economy open. 

Many Utahns feel that being forced to wear a mask infringes on their liberties. When our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence, they said:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The most fundamental human right we have, and the right first listed in our Declaration of Independence, is the right to life. We wear masks to protect those around us, not ourselves. The right to life of my neighbor is more important than my right to convenience.

In a time of a global pandemic, reasonable laws and restrictions can be made in order to protect the right to life of all our citizens. Coronavirus cases are escalating in Utah, and the worst is yet to come. We need legislators who understand this, who will trust in science over political expediency, and who are truly willing to lead our state out of this pandemic.