Doug Ducey Displayed a Failure of Leadership during his July 30 Press Briefing

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Governor Doug Ducey and AZ DHS Director Dr. Cara Christ

There was good news and bad news to Governor Ducey’s COVID 19 press briefing today.

The good news, confirmed by multiple news sources like CNN and the New York Times is that there seems to be a continued decline in Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and ICU bed needs.

Death rates, a lagging indicator, are still high.

The Governor still encouraged people to stay home, socially distance, wear masks, and wash hands.

During the question and answer session, Ducey, when asked about Mr. Trump’s tweet about delaying the elections, said he would “follow election law” and said he was supportive of people enrolling in the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL.)

Unfortunately, he did not say anything about making the 2020 election all mail-in voting.

The bad news of the briefing centered on three topics:

  • Testing
  • School Reopenings.
  • State aid to the Unemployed.

With regard to testing, there is still a backlog of about 30,000 test results.

Last week it was 60,000.

The Governor and Dr. Cara Crist deflected responsibility by blaming the backlog on Sonoran Testing.

Unfortunately, this week to ten-day backlog is making the people testing for COVID 19 redundant because in the time it takes to get the results back, the individual either:

  • Did not have the virus but may have it now.
  • Had the virus and has spread it to others because he or she did not know in a timely manner they contracted the disease.
  • Had the virus and is now better.

Furthermore, Ducey openly wondered why people in South Phoenix and Maryvale did not take advantage of the CDC testing sites over a twelve-day period.

In the July 30, 2020 edition for Yellow Sheet, former Department of Health Services Director Dr. Will Humble said that people do not want to drive and wait in the heat to be tested if they have to wait up to two weeks to get results that will be dated.

Yellow Sheet 7-30-20

With regard to school reopening, a reporter asked the perfectly justifiable question (which has been asked since the July 23 press briefing) if educators and families had enough time to devise appropriate school reopening strategies by August 17 if they only receive the health and safety benchmarks on August 7.

Mr. Ducey evaded by saying parents would have the option of in-person or virtual learning options for their children and advised families to check on what their local district was providing.

Schools Superintendents and their governing boards having the decision making power on how education should be conducted in their local district is appropriate but giving them (and families) the latitude and extra time to plan in-person learning sites for after August 17 to after Labor Day, for example, seems very reasonable.

Finally, the question of how to assist the unemployed if (as it seems likely) Congress does not extend the enhanced Unemployment benefits past tomorrow (July 31) came up four times from journalists.

They all asked what Ducey would do if Congress did not act. Some asked the Governor how people could be expected to live on $240 a week.

Ducey gave the same response all four times he was asked. “Arizona has done all it can. Congress has to do its part.”

So, in essence, the Governor of Arizona just told the citizens of the Grand Canyon State:

  • It’s not my fault there is a testing backlog.
  • Don’t ask me about how local school districts are going to reopen. Ask them.
  • I’m not doing anything about helping people on Unemployment. That is Congress’s responsibility.

This is a failure of leadership from the Governor of Arizona.

Grand Canyon State residents deserve better from their leader other than blaming others, delegating responsibility, and folding his arms in indifference to the needs of the most vulnerable.

He should call a special session immediately and work with state legislators at devising solutions that will help the people.

If not, send Doug Ducey a message 96 days from now on November 3, 2020, and elect a Democratically controlled State Legislature so he can not have a carte blanche to evade his responsibilities to Arizonans during a pandemic.

Please click on the video link of Governor Ducey’s press briefing below.

Please remember:

  • Primary Election Day is on August 4, 2020, and General Election Day is on November 3. 2020. Please see the below graphic for all-important voting dates. 
  • Please check your voter registration at vote.
  • Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at vote
  • Arizona residents, mail your General Election ballot by October 28, 2020, for the November 3, 2020 election.
  • Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.
  • Know the voter ID requirements in your state.
  • If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.
  • Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.
  • Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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David Gordon
Living in Arizona since his family moved to Tempe from New York in 1982, David Gordon has three degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix in History, Political Science, and Secondary School Administration. A highly qualified Social Studies instructor and Certified School Principal, Mr. Gordon owned his own charter school, Grand Canyon College Preparatory Academy from 1997-2016. The school served students in grades 6-12 in the East Valley of Maricopa County. Many of the graduates of GCP earned college credit for free while still attending high school, some completing the first year of college before graduating. Among the speakers at the school's graduations were noted figures in Arizona Politics like Harry Mitchell, David Schweikert, Juan Mendes, Andrew Sherwood, and John Huppenthal. Mr. Gordon also participated in the revisions of the Arizona History and Social Studies standards. In January 2017, Mr. Gordon started the political blog Twenty-First Century Progressive Bull Moose. It has a global following and routinely comments on the political events of the day. Mr. Gordon also helps administer the Facebook page Living Blue in Arizona. He is also currently writing a series of Young Adult science fiction novels which incorporate the themes of time travel and its impact on history. Mr. Gordon is very happy to be asked to join the Blog for Arizona team and hopes to spread the progressive word to make Arizona a better place for everyone.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Apparently it wasn’t in this segment, however it is an informative and important piece to watch. I hope that it’s widely seen and shared . I’ll keep trying to find that for you:)

  2. I would urge you NOT to ask people to mail their ballots by October 28.. I do believe that I saw today that we should mail them by October 13…. knowing what we know about voter suppression and the purposeful slowing down of mail in order NOT to count those ballots that come on Election Day. Please info everyone you talk to write for etc. We will not be denied again.

  3. School superintendents do not have the ultimate authority on how education should be implemented in the individual districts. The elected school boards will decide and direct the individual superintendents on that matter, as they follow local and state health guidelines. Issues on methods of instructional delivery and health protocols have been subject to considerable debate in districts. But you are correct, strong leadership by the governor here is non existent. Local districts and local mayors have been forced to exercise much greater courageous leadership, considering the mentality of some citizens, than the weak governor.

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