GOVERNMENT

Utah lawmaker fighting COVID-19 makes surprise legislature appearance

Mar 5, 2021, 12:24 PM | Updated: 12:28 pm
lawmaker with COVID surprises legislature with virtual visit...
Rep. Hawkins makes return to the legislature after battle with COVID-19. Photo: Rep. Steve Eliason

SALT LAKE CITY – Rep. John Hawkins, R-Pleasant Grove, made a surprise, emotional virtual appearance at the Utah legislature via video chat, as he continues to recover from COVID-19.

Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, let other lawmakers know Hawkins was present via video. They welcomed him with a round of applause. 

Hawkins had been absent from the legislature due to being very ill and hospitalized from COVID-19. His surprise appearance even allowed him to vote on legislation. He stayed on the video call and was able to submit other votes as the evening went on. 

Legislature welcomes colleague with COVID in virtual appearance

“I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your support … for keeping me and my family close to your thoughts and prayers. I miss every one of you and I wish I was there,” said Hawkins. 

Hawkins will soon be discharged from the ICU, but he is not able to return home yet. He will need to send some time in a long-term care facility, where he will re-learn how to walk and swallow again. 

“This is amazing,” Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said, as reported by the Deseret News. “We know the effects of COVID, many of us have witnessed it firsthand. How special it is to see this image of him, this was his first vote on the House floor. … It brightens our evening and makes us feel a lot better.” 

The Utah Department of Health reports just three positive cases of COVID-19 at the legislature since Jan. 19, 2021; lawmakers went through COVID-19 testing twice a week up there since the session began in January. 

 

 

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Utah lawmaker fighting COVID-19 makes surprise legislature appearance