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PM News Brief: Utah hospitals penalized, Gov. Cox subs & Brad Wilcox apologizes

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Utah Governor's Office
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox spent part of the day as a substitute teacher. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022


Utah Cannabinoid Product Board weighs in on delta-8 THC

Some patient advocates are ringing the alarm about a cannabis ingredient due to its potential health effects. Delta-8 THC is a naturally occurring substance in cannabis that appears in small amounts. While it can still get you high, it’s less potent than the more commonly known Delta-9. But federal regulators have yet to study or approve delta 8. Dr. Perry Fine, with the Utah Cannabinoid Product Board, said at this time they “do not support any therapeutic uses of analog cannabis products.” The board plans to work with state lawmakers and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food moving forward. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Gov. Spencer Cox tries his hand at substitute teaching

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox tried his hand at something a little different Tuesday. Cox tweeted he was working as a substitute teacher for three periods of 8th grade history and said “pray for me”. The dive into teaching comes about a week after he approved 30 hours of paid leave for state employees in an effort to help with Utah’s substitute shortage amid the ongoing pandemic. Health officials announced just 1,300 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. That’s down from 6,600 two weeks ago. — Ross Terrell 

Northern Utah

Prominent LDS Church leader apologizes for comments on race 

A prominent leader from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is under fire for controversial statements. Speaking at a youth meeting Sunday, Brad Wilcox, a counselor in the Young Men general presidency, commented on the faith’s former ban on Black people holding the priesthood. “Maybe instead of saying why did the Blacks have to wait until 1978,” he said, “maybe we should be asking why did the whites and other races have to wait until 1829?” The Church teaches the priesthood was restored to Joseph Smith then. Wilcox apologized Monday night on Facebook saying his message “did NOT come through” as he intended. Wilcox’s employer, Brigham Young University, released a statement on Twitter, saying they are “deeply concerned” about what he said but believe he’ll learn from it. — Lexi Peery

Salt Lake City native sets Olympic world record 

Salt Lake City native Nathan Chen set a world record Monday at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Now, he’s one good free skate away from an Olympic gold medal. The figure skater scored a 113.97 in the men’s short program. That’s more than a full two points higher than the previous record. Chen struggled in his short program at the 2018 winter Olympics, and placed fifth overall. He will go for the Olympic title live in prime time on Wednesday night. — Caroline Ballard

Utah hospital facing penalties from Medicare due to performance metrics

Six Utah hospitals — located in Sandy, Layton, Logan, Ogden, and Riverton — are being penalized by Medicare for high rates of patient complications according to data from Kaiser Health News. The Affordable Care Act allows the federal government to cut small amounts of funding for high readmission rates or patient injuries. The six hospitals in the state will see a 1% reduction of Medicare payments through the end of the fiscal year. Twenty Utah hospitals have also been penalized because of high readmission rates. Those reductions can cost up to 3% per patient. — Ross Terrell

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