Utah County Commission Meeting Goes Viral After Maskless Protesters Pack Room

Jul 16, 2020, 10:09 AM | Updated: 11:26 am

Anti-mask protesters fill a Utah County Commission meeting on July 15, 2020 (Photo: Utah County Com...

Anti-mask protesters fill a Utah County Commission meeting on July 15, 2020 (Photo: Utah County Commission YouTube Channel)

(Photo: Utah County Commission YouTube Channel)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah County made national news and was trending on Twitter Thursday morning after a group of unmasked protesters crowded into a Utah County Commission meeting on Wednesday.

Commissioner Bill Lee addressed the crowd of approximately 100 anti-mask protesters before the meeting began, the Deseret News reports. Lee reportedly told the group that masks would be optional inside the meeting.

He added an agenda item to the meeting asking the commissioners to vote on a letter directing the Utah County Health Department to ask Gov. Herbert for a “compassionate exemption” to a statewide mask mandate for all K-12 schools.

Protesters then crowded into the chambers and ignored markers on the floor for social distancing.

However, commissioners were not able to vote on anything.

The meeting ended up lasting just a few minutes as commissioner Tanner Ainge cut the gathering short due to the unsafe conditions created by a crowd of people who were neither socially distancing nor wearing masks.

“This is going to be brief, I think,” Ainge said as he spoke to the crowd, some of whom had masks attached to their faces but were not covering their noses or mouths. “This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing. We need to be physically distancing, wearing masks.”

The crowd interrupted the commissioner with boos, and one person held up a sign that appeared to read “No masks!”

“All of our medical experts, our department of health, everyone is encouraging to us do that,” Ainge said, raising his voice to be heard over the attendees. “This room is not complying with these health guidelines. This creates a health concern for this meeting.”

“I’m going to suspend the rules,” he finished, “and I’m going to suspend the rules and I’m going to make a motion to continue this entire meeting to another date.”

He then made the motion, which was seconded, and Ainge adjourned the meeting to a later date. The gathered protesters could be heard yelling afterward.

The county’s YouTube video had more than 5,200 views Thursday morning,

Ainge took Twitter, sharing a Washington Post article on the Utah County Commission meeting, writing that the “group does not represent a majority of Utah or Utah County.”

“They were organized by (Utah County commissioner Bill Lee) to recklessly pack the room for a vote that should not have even been on our agenda in the first place,” according to Ainge’s tweet.

After the meeting, Ainge told reporters gathered outside that the Utah County Commission doesn’t have any power as far as the mask mandate for all K-12 schools because it’s a state directive.

KSL 5 TV Live

Back to School

Holly Duke teaches all-day kindergarten at West Kearns Elementary....

Deanie Wimmer

High stakes of kindergarten readiness; what Utah schools are doing to improve student performance

Ready for kindergarten used to mean a child turned five by the cutoff date. But as the stakes and expectations get higher, teachers are encountering some surprising behaviors.

7 months ago

This week KSL+ looks at what school districts describe as “chronic absenteeism” in Utah’s sch...

Braden McElreath and Michael Houck, KSL TV

8 Utah schools have been placed on lockdown since the start 2023-2024 school year

In just two and a half weeks, seven Utah schools have issued seven lockdown protocols. 

8 months ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Dan Rascon

Bingham High seniors petition due to school parking shortage

Some Bingham High School seniors in South Jordan, say a new parking policy for students is now preventing them from finding open stalls.

8 months ago

The outside of Ella Vista Elementary School. (KSL TV)...

Shelby Lofton

Bella Vista Elementary starts school year without air conditioning

Another Utah school is starting its school year without any AC.

8 months ago

McKinley Elementary School, Box Elder County School District. (KSL TV)...

Karah Brackin and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Box Elder School District among the last to head back to school; largely due to the County Fair

Box Elder School District heads back to school as one of the last districts to do so in the state. While they have unique factors to consider, students and administration are pumped for the new school year.

8 months ago

The Timekettle Translator earbuds that Herriman High School uses for their international students....

Karah Brackin and Michael Houck, KSL TV

New translation device helps international students in classes and studies

As Herriman High School continues to see the number of international students increasing, the school is turning to a game-changing device that is helping break down the language barrier.

8 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Utah County Commission Meeting Goes Viral After Maskless Protesters Pack Room