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Letter: Let’s not forget Dr. Harrison’s plea before Cox’s “extreme masker” moment

(Rick Bowmer | AP) Marc Harrison, president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Salt Lake City. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox cast doubt on the efficacy of mask-wearing as health leaders made some of their most impassioned pleas yet for state residents to mask up and get vaccinated.

“Masks are not as effective as most of the pro-mask crowd are arguing. They’re just not,” Cox said in complete juxtaposition to Dr. Marc Harrison’s passionate plea to wear masks.

Let’s not forget: Harrison is president and CEO of Intermountain Healthcare, has multiple myeloma, and is immunocompromised.

Let’s not forget: Harrison had just told reporters, “I would normally avoid a group like this. I hope that all of you who aren’t wearing masks aren’t carrying the delta variant — because if you are, you could kill me.”

Let’s not forget: Harrison went on to urge us all to wear a mask in public settings and to get vaccinated. He also made a plea for stopping the spread of misinformation, and to “put your virtual arms around” health care workers.

Cox’s “extreme maskers” remark coming directly on the heels of this plea wasn’t just “inarticulate” it was disingenuous and a slap in the face of not only Dr. Harrison, but to our health care workers doing their best to keep from drowning with the rising number of patients in our hospitals. The whole reason for the press conference.

Masks do work. Let’s ask ourselves: Where would we be if our health care workers had not worn them early on in this pandemic? Or if they were to take them off now? Sometimes, their reused masks, (let’s not forget masks were in short supply) were the only thing between them and a lethal viral load from this deadly virus.

Let’s not forget.

Holly McAllister, Salt Lake City

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