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Mayor of Hyde Park tells people to ‘think independently’ about COVID-19

(Laura Seitz, KSL file)

HYDE PARK, Utah – Health officials in Cache County are pushing back on comments made by the mayor of Hyde Park.  She says they won’t enforce mask mandates or social distance recommendations, saying too many people are turning to politicians with their health concerns. 

In her statement found in the Hyde Park newsletter, Mayor Sharidean Flint wrote she is surprised to see so many people turn to politicians and bureaucrats with their health concerns.  She urged city residents to “think independently,” adding that our forefathers would never ask if it was safe to enter Cache Valley, or if it was a good idea to fight the Revolutionary War.

During an interview with KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic, Flint acknowledged the virus is deadly, but overly strict regulations can be damaging, as well.

“People have lost loved ones, but the suffering is not confined just to the virus.  We’re also, by the actions we’re taking as government, causing the suffering of its own,” Flint said.  “It seems like government, so often, likes to take a sledgehammer to problems.  In this instance, we need a scalpel.”

She said suicides have increased and reports of domestic violence have spiked because of government shutdowns.  Plus, even if she wanted to enforce mandates, Flint said she legally can’t.

“There is actually nothing we can do to enforce those.  I’ve actually talked to our city attorney and there isn’t anything we can do,” she said.

Flint also mentioned studies in Europe that show it’s safe for children to return to school, and a Danish study that she claims proves masks don’t work.  However, Bear River Health Department Physician Edward Redd says that wasn’t what the Danish study concluded.  He says that the study was only designed to look into how effective masks are in preventing someone from becoming sick.

“It didn’t have any way of showing what happens when someone sick with COVID-19 wears a mask,” he said.

Redd is also taking exception to Flint’s claim that there is a 99.8 percent survival rate.  Redd said it may be true if you look at survival rates, overall, but death rates increase significantly in older people.

“When you get above 65, 3.5 percent of people with COVID-19 end up dying in Utah.  When you talk about people above the age of 85, it’s 14 percent,” Redd said.

Other department officials issued a statement:

“We absolutely stand by our recommendations to stay home when sick, practice good hand hygiene, physical distance, and wear masks. Masks help reduce droplet spread. Our role as a local health department certainly includes providing the best public health recommendations available. We depend on reputable organizations like CDC and WHO for guidance. Our recommendations are based on sound science. We encourage the community to look to these same organizations for answers regarding COVID.”

 

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