Congressman Stanton: Arizona Leaders 'Asleep At The Wheel' Regarding The Coronavirus

Published: Monday, July 13, 2020 - 12:26pm
Updated: Monday, July 13, 2020 - 5:31pm
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Justin Stabley/KJZZ
Greg Stanton in the KJZZ studio in 2018.

Reported COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Arizona, creating further strains on healthcare resources. Positivity rates in the city of Phoenix have exceeded 20%.

Mayor Kate Gallego spoke with CBS’s "Face The Nation" on July 12 about the difficulties her city has seen in fighting the spread of COVID-19:

“We are setting records of the type you don’t want to set for the use of ventilators by COVID patients, acute care beds — our health care workers are telling us they are already tired and they are worried there could be an additional growth," Gallego said.

The mayor is optimistic that the federal government has agreed to support increased testing in the region.

As of July 13, the state Department of Health Services recorded nearly 124,000 COVID-19 infections and 2,245 deaths — eight more Arizonans have died due to the virus since July 10, and 1,357 more cases were added.

As cases continue to rise, Arizona Congressman Greg Stanton has been critical of Gov. Doug Ducey’s handling of the pandemic. He has called for a statewide mask mandate and expanded testing — and openly expressed frustration when the governor did not deliver.

In a recent letter to the governor, Stanton wrote: “During this entire time, the state’s rhetoric has not matched reality.”

He went on to say: “State leaders were asleep at the wheel — unacceptably unaware or deliberately dishonest about what was happening at the local level, and without a real plan to make up for these shortcomings at the state level.”

The Show spoke with the congressman and asked him if the governor’s most recent actions did anything to ease his concerns.

The Show has asked to speak with Gov. Ducey over the course of the pandemic. He has yet to accept that request.

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