Governor Cox:

I am writing to you about the comments you made about the mask mandate on March 24.

First, as governor, you have no authority to mandate anything for the residents of Utah. That is only the Legislature, and if they delegate that authority to you, while they have shirked their duty, you still do not have the authority because the Legislature does not have the authority to delegate their authority either.

Second, you mentioned how there is less flu because of masks. What if it is because a lot of the flu cases are being reported as COVID-19?

Third, you said that our hospitals have been near capacity. The truth is that they are always near capacity! It is not cost-effective for a hospital to have a lot of empty beds.

Fourth, I think you are removing the mandate not because vaccinations are happening, but because the people are ignoring it anyway, as they should. You are starting to sense the pandemic fatigue, and your comments were meant to convince us to obey you for a little longer. But the longer you push us, the more we will ignore you because that is our right.

Fifth, the BYU study you cited was not a study, it was a survey, and it was a biased survey at that. There is about equal evidence that masks do and do not work. And why would they? Since people do not change them every 20 minutes (as you should with surgical masks), they become full of bacteria and viruses. Then they touch their face. Then they spread the virus that way.

I am tired of obeying unconstitutional edicts. I have been not wearing a mask for a while. I have been going into businesses without it. And there have been some businesses that haven’t required me to. You are losing your influence over us, and should this continue, I am sure Utah might start to see population growth slow or reverse.

Instead, why don’t you be bold, like the governor of Florida? If masks didn’t work, why is Florida doing so well? Careful, calculated boldness is true leadership; leading based on fear is not.

And what about responsibility? You say we have a responsibility to keep everyone else healthy? What happened to individual responsibility to keep ourselves healthy?

Stop setting the example of being led by fear. Lead by careful boldness. Lead by setting a good example of individual responsibility for individual health.

Until then, you can bet that I will ignore you and/or do my best to ensure that you do not get elected again. Utah does not need your fearful example.

If, however, you admit you were wrong and lead with courage, then I would be happy to vote for you and see you get elected again.

Gavin Howard

Resident of Utah