Utah governor admits mistake on vaccination milestone

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Monday that the state’s Covid data team “screwed up and that Utah has not yet hit the 70 percent goal for adult vaccinations, admitting the error just days after celebrating the milestone.

“Welp. We screwed up. Because of a reporting error we have not yet hit 70% on our adult vaccinations, Cox, a Republican, posted on Twitter Monday. “I promised to admit our mistakes and hold us accountable. I hope you will forgive us — and know we have made changes to ensure it won’t happen again.

Cox said the state’s Covid data team informed his office that 70 percent of adult Utahns had received at least one shot days before he made the announcement. The governor said even his team was skeptical and held onto the news, double and triple checking the data before marking the milestone on July 6.
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“Every report came back that the numbers were accurate, so we went with it, Cox said in a statement Monday.

But the numbers were a bit fishy the day Cox reported that the state had reached 70 percent. It took some math and a lot of explaining in a thread of 20 tweets on July 6, given the numbers didn’t exactly match up to the Utah Department of Health’s public website.

“This is truly a milestone worth celebrating! Cox said in one of the tweets.

Cox said Monday that there were not any “ethical breaches in the data mix-up. The team was erroneously counting federal doses.

“Our data team at the Department of Health has been incredible throughout this pandemic. At times working around the clock, these public servants have been recognized as one of the most thorough and transparent data teams in the country, Cox said in a statement. “While this miscalculation is inexcusable, they have re-examined processes to prevent this type of error from happening again.

The White House also fell short of President Joe Biden’s goal of partially vaccinating 70 percent of American adults by July Fourth, with 67 percent of adults having received at least one shot. With the data error, Utah had also only reached 67.07 percent.

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“While federal data sharing has been extremely difficult, this one is on us, Cox said. “Our data team is devastated and embarrassed. And so am I.

Cox said the lower percentage only means his team has “even more work to get Utahans vaccinated.

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