Three days after doubting the efficacy of mask-wearing, Utah's Republican governor clarified his "inarticulate statements" on Friday.
"Masks are not as effective as most of the pro-mask crowd are arguing," Governor Spencer Cox argued at a Tuesday news conference. "We know that they're just not."
The comments contradicted what Utah's state epidemiologist, Dr. Michelle Hofmann, had said earlier at the same press conference. Cox addressed the controversy in a thread posted to Twitter on Friday afternoon.
"This week I made some inarticulate statements around masks. My purpose wasn't to imply that masks don't work at all, but that they pale in comparison to vaccines," he wrote.
Cox said Utah has "provided 1.2 million surgical and KN95 masks for young students and teachers with another 750k on the way."
The governor urged residents to get vaccinated.
"Our hospitals are overflowing with young and healthy people. It doesn't have to be that way. Please get vaccinated," he urged.
Here is the full thread:
Over the past 30 days, IHC has treated 339 COVID-19 ICU patients. 297 (88%) were unvaccinated and 42 were vaccinate… https://t.co/ybG85hfQ31— Spencer Cox (@Spencer Cox) 1630703140.0
Now for the 297 unvaccinated people: 127 (43%) (!) were under the age of 50 and 116 (39%) have NO co-morbidities. I… https://t.co/zrHyEJjDLf— Spencer Cox (@Spencer Cox) 1630703140.0
This week I made some inarticulate statements around masks. My purpose wasn’t to imply that masks don’t work at all… https://t.co/Q3d65moY5t— Spencer Cox (@Spencer Cox) 1630703141.0