Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) apologized Monday after his administration discovered that a state agency inadvertently misquoted the number of residents who had received a vaccine against the coronavirus.
In a letter to his voters, Cox said some federal doses had been double-counted. The new count means just over 67 percent of adults in Utah have received at least one dose of vaccine, not the 70 percent reported last week.
“We screwed up. And I offer my sincere apologies,” Cox wrote. “When I became governor, I promised that I would hold myself and others in the state government accountable and admit our mistakes.”
“While sharing federal data has been extremely difficult, this is for us. Our data team is devastated and ashamed. And so have I,” Cox wrote. “Our data team at the Department of Health has been incredible during this pandemic. These officials sometimes work around the clock and are recognized as one of the most thorough and transparent data teams in the country. While this miscalculation is unforgivable they re-examined processes to prevent these types of errors from happening again.”
The error means Utah has not yet reached the 70 percent threshold at which most health experts expect herd immunity to kick in. But the state is still among the fastest to vaccinate such a large proportion of the population, especially as hesitancy to get vaccines is growing among conservative populations. .
Only two other states that are on former . voted President Trump
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Cox, 46, is just months into his first term as governor. He won the election with 63 percent of the vote place an ad alongside his Democratic rival who called for more bourgeois discourse in politics.