The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board this week expressed disapproval over Utah's handling of the COVID pandemic in the state. In a controversial op-ed, the editors suggested that the governor should deploy the National Guard to make sure people who were unvaccinated against COVID "would not be allowed anywhere."

According to the National Pulse, the 152-year-old Salt Lake Tribune published an op-ed on January 15, titled "Utah leaders have surrendered to COVID pandemic," in which the editors accused Republican Governor Spencer Cox and Utah authorities of "waiving the white flag of surrender in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic."

The leading Utah newspaper's six-person editorial board includes former Governor and failed presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's son, Jon Huntsman Jr.; Dave Patel, who previously served as the Director of National Operations at the Department of Defense's Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve under the George W. Bush administration; and Michelle Quist, who served as a Utah Republican Party county and state officer. Other editors on the board are Lauren Gustus formerly of the Sacramento Bee, Pulitzer Prize finalist George Pyle, and senior director of public outreach and operations Tim Fitzpatrick.

The editors lamented in the op-ed that the state could have faced the Omicron variant of COVID with "a herd immunity-level of vaccinations" which could only have happened through a vaccine mandate, which their leaders "refused." The editors argued that the Utah leaders claimed to have not seen Omicron coming, which they argued is "patently untrue. They were told what to do, and they refused."

"Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor's next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere," the editors of the leading Utah newspaper wrote. "But it may be too late for that, politically and medically."

According to Newsweek, Utah currently has the fourth-highest number of new COVID cases in the U.S. The spread of the Omicron variant in the states has pushed students back to learning from home. Because of the rapid spread of Omicron and Utah's limited testing capabilities, those who are experiencing COVID symptoms were simply told to assume they've already been infected with the coronavirus.

While the Saturday op-ed from the leading Utah newspaper applauded state officials for saying that vaccination is the best tool to fight the pandemic, they criticized how Gov. Cox and other leaders did not carry "the courage of their convictions" when they refused to implement vaccine mandates, the likes of which have been shot down by the Supreme Court. About 73% of Utah's adult population are fully vaccinated, as per a Brown University tracker.

The leading Utah newspaper's op-ed gained harsh criticism from several Republican leaders, including Texas Representative Chip Roy, who took to Twitter to warn that the Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board was calling for the military to "target their own neighbors" and warned that "these people want to come after you."

Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert also took to social media to denounce how the "radical left" wants the very same "horror story" policies that are currently being implemented in other countries to be enacted in the U.S. as well.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican who was permanently banned on Twitter for sharing the CDC's statistics, took to Telegram to share, "To the communists on the editorial board...Not gonna happen!!!"