Salt Lake City Tribune editorial calls on National Guard to keep unvaccinated people at home

The editorial board of the Salt Lake City Tribune published an op-ed on Saturday calling on the governor of Utah to use the National Guard to stop unvaccinated citizens from going anywhere.

In an op-ed headlined, “Utah leaders surrendered to COVID pandemic, editorial board writes,” the paper blames elected officials for not mandating the vaccine for all citizens. The newspaper claimed that if Utah was a “civilized place,” Republican Gov. Spencer Cox would implement a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for the state and have the National Guard enforce the mandate by not letting not unvaccinated people go “anywhere”.

“If Utah were a truly civilized place, the Governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the type of mass vaccination campaign that we should have launched a year ago, going so far as to deploy the Guard. national to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere,” the editorial board wrote.

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National Guard at the United States Capitol. (Getty Images)

While the editorial board blamed all levels of government, it was more critical of Republicans like Cox.

“Government officials, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, were apparently determined not to be taken to power in the face of this challenge. Any decision or recommendation to mask up or, when safe and effective vaccines became available, to do of vaccination a requirement of admission to public places and society at large have been decried as an unwarranted imposition of individual liberties,” he wrote. “Cox and so many others have failed to bear the courage of their convictions . Cox, state legislative leaders, our congressional delegation, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes have so proudly opposed the kind of vaccine mandates that civilized society has used for generations to effectively wipe everything down, from polio to diphtheria to measles.”

Governor Spencer Cox on January 10, 2022 exempted the Utah Capitol and other state facilities from a mask mandate as conservative lawmakers prepared to begin meeting for the year, but the mayor of Salt Lake County pushes back.

Governor Spencer Cox on January 10, 2022 exempted the Utah Capitol and other state facilities from a mask mandate as conservative lawmakers prepared to begin meeting for the year, but the mayor of Salt Lake County pushes back.
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

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The newspaper’s criticism for President Biden was lukewarm by comparison. They applauded Biden’s efforts to implement a nationwide vaccination mandate, but criticized the president for taking too long to make COVID-19 tests and N-95 masks widely available.

“President Joe Biden has tried to pull some useful levers by ordering vaccination mandates for healthcare workers and vaccine or testing rules for workplaces with more than 100 employees. The U.S. Supreme Court this week confirmed the first while quashing the second, foolishly asserting that a communicable disease is not a workplace hazard,” the editorial board wrote. “It’s not that Biden is blameless in all of this. Seeing the obvious reluctance of so many people to get vaccinated or to demand, only now prompted him to do some testing and make the most effective type of mask available to everyone. It’s the right thing to do, but months late.”

"Look, there is no federal solution.  This is resolved at the state level," President Biden said Monday during a call with governors on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Look, there’s no federal solution. This is being resolved at the state level,” President Biden said Monday during a call for governors on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Critics hit back at the newspaper, particularly over the suggestion that the National Guard be deployed to force unvaccinated people to stay at home.

“It’s insane anti-science madness – omicron infects everyone – but these ‘journalists’ demand totalitarianism. And they think they’re the good guys,” OutKick founder Clay Travis wrote in a post. tweet.

Utah Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson, R., tweeted, “The truth is Omicron is out of control everywhere. Even in places with mask and vaccine mandates. We’re still pushing vaccines, but even vaccinated people [sic] catch him. It’s easy to take pictures from the cheap seats, but it’s the kind of absurdity that makes editorial boards unnecessary.”

“Use the national guard to stop the unvaccinated from going anywhere?! That would be more draconian than any state in the country – how do they think things are going in Australia? Trib Editorial Board is absolute trash,” the former Utah senator’s former staffer said. Orrin Hatch, Matt Whitlock tweeted.

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