AP NEWS

State deletes tweet accusing Trump of virus ‘misinformation’

March 6, 2020 GMT
In this Feb. 28, 2020, photo, Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox meets with Utah State Legislature at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. A state coronavirus-response team in Utah is calling comments from President Donald Trump "misinformation" and warning people to stay home from work if they show symptoms that match the virus. In a tweet Thursday, March 5, 2020, the task force led by Cox posted an audio clip from Trump's wide-ranging interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity in which he said that many cases of coronavirus are mild. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
In this Feb. 28, 2020, photo, Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox meets with Utah State Legislature at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. A state coronavirus-response team in Utah is calling comments from President Donald Trump "misinformation" and warning people to stay home from work if they show symptoms that match the virus. In a tweet Thursday, March 5, 2020, the task force led by Cox posted an audio clip from Trump's wide-ranging interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity in which he said that many cases of coronavirus are mild. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has directed a state coronavirus-response team to delete a tweet calling President Donald Trump’s comments about people going to work sick “misinformation.”

Cox, a Republican, tweeted late Thursday that he asked message to be removed because it “appeared political in nature.” He said the White House has been a “tremendous partner” in the response to the virus, and the issue shouldn’t be politicized.

Cox, who heads up the task force and is also running for governor, said he had not seen the message before it was posted.

The tweet from the coronavirus task force had posted comments from a wide-ranging interview Trump did with Fox News host Sean Hannity. The president said most cases are mild, and “thousands” of people even go to work. The task force called that misinformation, and said going to work sick could be dangerous.

Trump later tweeted he did not mean people feeling sick should work.

Cox has been critical of Trump in the past but more recently supported his re-election bid.

No cases of the virus have been detected in Utah, though one resident who caught it on a cruise is being treated in the state. State officials have said they expect it to come eventually and are making preparations.