‘The Rundown’: Utah lawmaker says her biggest worry is Americans who follow Fauci’s advice on vaccines

Rep. Kera Birkeland says ‘it’s ridiculous’ to suggest unvaccinated people can’t celebrate the holidays with their families

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(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, during a hearing on HB302, a controversial bill on transgender athletics, by the Senate Health and Human Services Standing Committee at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.

Utah state Rep. says her biggest worry is Americans who follow Fauci’s advice on COVID vaccines

Utah Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, said Monday evening her biggest worry was Americans who are following the advice of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

During an appearance on Newsmax TV, Birkeland was asked about Fauci’s statement that fully vaccinated Americans can enjoy the holidays with their families in a way they’re traditionally used to.

“I can’t imagine being his family at this point. I assume they’re all vaccinated, but it’s ridiculous to tell people they can’t hang out with their family if they don’t get a vaccine,” Birkeland said.

Birkeland added the vaccine is not a “perfect preventative” against the virus, which she said has a 99 percent survival rate. More than 724,000 Americans had died from COVID-19 as of Monday.

“All of this is unbelievable and the people that are following along, that’s what concerns me. He (Fauci) can say what he thinks and he’s entitled to it. But, the people that are following his advice, they’re my biggest concern for America,” Birkeland said.

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

⚖️ Former President Donald Trump sues to block the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection from receiving records on his activities that day as well as his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. [WaPo]

  • The committee will vote Tuesday on citing former Trump advisor Steve Bannon with contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena. [CNN]

⚖️ The Supreme Court will consider a request to fast-track an appeal of a Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks. [CNBC]

🏛 Senate Republicans are blocking President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee the prosecutions stemming from the January 6 riot. [Insider]

😢 In his final interview, Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, accused former President Trump of attempting a coup on January 6. Powell died Monday. [WaPo]

💉 The FDA will allow Americans to get a COVID-19 booster shot from a different manufacturer than their original vaccination. [NYT]

🏛 Activists hope to pressure Utah lawmakers to approve an audit of the 2020 election results during an interim committee hearing on Wednesday. [Tribune]

🏛 A legislative audit says the Utah Department of Health needs to do more to foster innovation and to collaborate with other state and local officials. [Tribune]

💉 Washington State University booted head football coach Nick Rolovich for failing to abide by the state’s vaccine mandate. [Tribune]

💵 Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall says she wants to spend $85 million in federal coronavirus relief funds on several initiatives, including affordable housing and homeless services. [Tribune]

⚖️ Former President Trump was questioned for four hours as part of a lawsuit by protesters who claimed his bodyguards assaulted them. [WaPo]

⚖️ A federal court rules the University of North Carolina can continue to use race as a factor in admissions. [WaPo]

📺 Many local TV stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group have been crippled by a ransomware attack. Employees say the attack has severely impacted local newscasts. [CNN]

📈 The wealthiest 10% of Americans own nearly 90% of stocks. [CNBC]

Tuesday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • This Utah greenhouse can grow 750 acres worth of tomatoes using a fraction of the land and water. [Tribune]

  • As Utah explodes in growth, coal country is left behind. [Tribune]

  • Local Spanish radio host killed in Taylorsville shooting. [Tribune]

  • The wild West’s housing market: These Utah, Idaho cities top new list for biggest price increases. [Deseret News]

  • Utah to receive over 700 Afghan refugees in coming months. [Fox 13]

  • Salt Lake among top 10 airports for most firearms caught at TSA checkpoints. [KUTV]


  • A Utah school district dropped its emotional health program after parents found it linked to a website about sex. [Tribune]


  • Utah reports more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases. [Tribune]


  • Shrinking Great Salt Lake’s impact on weather. [Fox 13]


  • George Pyle: Death of Colin Powell should remind us why the CEO of Intermountain Healthcare urged us to all get vaccinated. [Tribune]

  • Sharlee Mullins Glenn: ‘We, the People’ claim our power in a republic by donating to political campaigns. [Tribune]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to former state Rep. Doug Aagard.

Got a birthday you’d like us to recognize in this space? Send us an email.