Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox tweets his ‘disappointment’ in behavior of missionary families at airport

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. Photo: Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 23, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — As missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints returned home from the Philippines on Sunday, their families rushed to meet them at Salt Lake City International Airport.

Under normal circumstances, the welcome would have been expected — eagerly anticipated — and the hugs and handshakes, the crush of moms, dads and siblings greeting their young missionaries would warm any observer’s heart.

But things are different these days, what with health officials warning everyone on the planet to stay home and “social distance” to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In fact, COVID-19 is the reason the Church is bringing the missionaries home, where they are expected to self-quarantine for two weeks and phone their health care provider if they experience any symptoms of the potentially deadly virus.

After viewing a video clip of the families at the airport, waiting to greet each returning missionary, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox expressed his thoughts via Twitter.

“Really disappointed in the behavior we saw from missionary families at the SLC airport tonight,” Cox, who heads Utah’s coronavirus task force, tweeted. “I get it, I’ve been there (and still have a child serving), but this is unacceptable. In a time of shared sacrifice, we must do better to save lives. #SocialDistancing”

Earlier Sunday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert tweeted:

“As missionaries return home due to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe, they should not be met by big groups of family or friends. Large welcome parties are dangerous and could greatly increase the spread of coronavirus in our state.”

And: “Parents, please go to the airport alone to pick up your returning missionaries, and help them strictly follow all self-isolation procedures for their first 14 days at home.”

Officials from the medical community and every level of government have been reminding the public repeatedly to stay home if possible, maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer, don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, and limit any gatherings to 50 people or even 10 or fewer, depending on your age and your health.

So, Cox wasn’t as thrilled as the families at the airport when he saw the video of hundreds of people standing not six feet apart from each other, but shoulder-to-shoulder, as they crowded together to greet each returning missionary with cheers and applause, sharing their happiness, and possibly sharing a virus for which there is currently no cure.


  1. It’s not just the behavior at the airports. It’s the all out for themselves at the grocery stores and of course if not a member your not in the circle. This has been seen first hand by me and others as people hoard items, especially paper products, from the grocery store leaving nothing for the common non church related families. The notes that the church has left for members but none for the non members. The notes state if you need any items or help going to the store please let the stakes now and call this number. Only left for members. This morning I hand out toilet paper to all the woman or elderly before me. Saw members of the church grabbing theirs before women and elderly. Times like this is where we all help regardless of who you are. Not judge and only help members. It’s sad to see and definitely makes you see the real truth of who they are.

  2. So typical… That sense of entitlement in the Mormon sect…. It is seen in all facets of life… This is just one more example. Selfish, self-serving… Please Look around you, go home, get on your knees, and pray to our Lord and Savior for healing this sorrowful world, the health care workers and others out there trying to protect us and save us.Mormons are the largest percentage of the population in Utah, Have Large gatherings, send their missionaries all over the world and thus have a greater likelihood of having the virus and spreading the virus. For the sake of all that you hold dear STAY HOME

  3. If you get it then what are there parents and friends suppose to do stay in there car and tell there missionaries to come out the door and will pick you up curbside. I dear anyone to get in between mama bear and her child when she hasn’t seen her baby for 18 to 24 months. Are you guys kidding me. Get your nose out of the sky and bring it back to earth.

    • Yes, that is exactly what they are suppose to do. Wait in the car for their child and then go home and self quarantine for 14 days just like they were asked. Follow directions for their own good and the rest of society’s. Because, you know there is a global pandemic that is killing thousands and has the potential to kill thousands.

  4. Mr Cox,

    Right on.

    Thanks for demonstrating seasoned nature LEADERSHIP and pointing out the elephants in the room [airport].

    It’s hard to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.

    Your comments are sobering… timely … and true.

  5. Thank you Lt. Gov. Cox for your message. I’m not from Utah, but I don’t understand what people are thinking. There will be time for celebrations, but this is not the time. I am sorry to hear that Senator Luz Escamilla has tested positive, and wish her a speedy and full recovery.

  6. So ridiculous that people are not taking this serious and staying home unless you need something from the store. Now with all the missionaries coming home from other countries and the many people that don’t abide by the rules have put SO MANY others at risk.

  7. I agree with the Gov and Lt,, but did LDS leaders give the families a protocol to follow, during this time of social distancing?

  8. Dicusting behavior Mr. Spencer Cox is right bahaving badly will cost us go home hug all of the rest of your family lest get this spread around we all will pay for what you’ve done so sad

  9. This is darwinism at it’s best, get told dont do this, stay this far from every one and only have one person picking up. Missionary family, “yeah no lets ignore that, be unsafe, potentially make this worse than it is for our benefit”. Just saying if they dont want to listen let them get sick.


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