Salt Lake City mayor on city’s reopening

Mayor Erin Mendenhall plans on opening the Utah city back up for business while still attempting to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
2:59 | 06/25/20

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Transcript for Salt Lake City mayor on city’s reopening
re-open, community leaders are forced to move forward amidst some uncertainty. The mayor from Salt Lake City joining us now. Thank you, madam mayor, for being here. I know you want the ability to mandate that people wear masks. You want the governor to give you that ability or do it himself. We'll get into that more in a second. Just as you walk around your town, are you encouraged or discouraged by the amount of mask wearing and social distancing that you see folks doing? It ebs and flows depending on where you are. Sometimes I'm in a restaurant or a take-out place and everyone has a mask on. Other places you show up and no one seems to be wearing them. I think that trend is on the rise as it gets hotter here. We get further into summer and the patience around mask wearing is lowering. At the same time we see the politicalization of wearing a mask. This should not be a political issue for the sake of our health, our parents' health, our economy, we need masks to become normalized, accepted and something we do to respect the people around us and protect The governor has resisted calls to mandate it statewide and not giving the local communities the ability to mandate it yourself. The governor said he is concerned that requiring a mask could create devisive enforcement issues at a time we need to come together. What do you make of that statement? I think coming together is the problem right now. When we allow people to come together because the governor said he's not going to shut down our economy again, it's those social interactions growing our covid-19 cases in Utah. Particularly along where our capitol city resides. It was with recent state legislative action they took away from every mayor the ability to use our emergency declaration powers to put those kind of restrictions in place, such as requirements for wearing a mask. We have to seek permission from the governor and state to do those types of things. I submitted my letter to the governor yesterday requesting that. You requested. How confident are you that the governor is going to allow. I know the governor is looking at the public health data. He tells us that's what driving his decision. Looking at our health data, particularly in Salt Lake county, shows we're not stabilizing, we're not declining. We need to put this measure in place. It's incredibly preventive. It works very well compared to other measures the governor isn't willing to consider. It's something we need to do to save lives. Madam mayor, thank you for being here. We are in New York. We went through it ourselves here in a major way. We hate to see other places going through it. We're rooting for you. Be well. Thanks for having me on. Thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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