Report Ranks Arizona's COVID-19 Response Among Worst In U.S.
Arizona’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was among the least effective of any state, according to a new report from University of California, Berkeley.
The UC Berkeley Othering and Belonging Institute every year reports on how states and countries’ policies impact marginalized communities. The 2020 report focused on COVID-19.
“COVID presented an opportunity or a test to look at our commitments towards inclusion and equity,” said Samir Gambhir, one of the report's authors.
The pandemic hit communities of color and elderly populations especially hard, highlighting social inequalities, Gambhir said. The report considered how states’ public health responses impacted vulnerable communities. Arizona ranked 47th.
Gambhir said states with low scores tended to have lax policies toward social distancing and mask wearing and mixed messaging from officials about the dangers of the virus. Top-ranked states were Vermont, Alaska and Maine.
“Some state governments responded aggressively toward the public health guidelines, toward mask mandates, social distancing, and some did not,” Gambhir said.
When it came to national policies, the U.S. also had a low score globally. Out of 172 countries, researchers ranked the United States 161st.