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WATCH: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox on his first 500 days as governor — and what's next

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks prior to placing a new 100-year time capsule in a column of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks prior to placing a new 100-year time capsule in a column of the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox on Wednesday marked his first 500 days as governor, and he's celebrating the milestone with a live discussion about his achievements so far and his plans for the second half of his term.

Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics and host of "The Hinckley Report with Jason Perry," will interview Cox, after which the governor will take questions from an audience at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law.

The discussion began at 6:30 p.m. It's open to the public, and was livestreamed on the governor's Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram pages as well as his office's website.

Cox tested positive for COVID-19 on May 12. According to his office, he planned to isolate for five days after his positive test and wear a mask for 10 days, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. His spokeswoman Jennifer Napier-Pearce said Tuesday he still planned to participate in Wednesday's discussion — as well as his monthly PBS Utah press conference — as he's "feeling much better and continues to improve."

During the discussion with Perry, Cox was expected to discuss milestones outlined in his One Utah Roadmap as well as his "extreme optimism for Utah's future," according to a news release circulated by his office.

Cox's One Utah Roadmap, which he released in the first month of his term, set his priorities for his first 500 days. It focused on six priorities: economic advancement, education innovation and investment, rural matters, health security, equality and opportunity, and state government efficiency.

In October, the governor updated his roadmap with more details for his top goals for the next 250 days, including talent development, fiscal responsibility, funding and equity, early learning, economic growth and diversification, public lands, combating COVID-19 and more.

Cox, during his inauguration speech in January of 2021, urged Utahns to rise above a national "crisis of empathy" and hateful rhetoric as the U.S.'s political landscape was becoming increasingly more polarized as COVID-19 ravaged the country.

"At times our hands may hang down and our hearts may fail us, but even when we feel tired, we must never give up," Cox said in his inauguration speech. "In Utah, we never give up. It's our turn to write the next chapter of Utah's history and prove that yes indeed our greatest days still lie ahead."

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Katie McKellar

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