Remember the line from the Terminator Movies where the lead protagonist says “Come with me if you want to live”
In Arizona and across the country, it is getting to the point where people should stop listening to Doug Ducey, Cara Crist, Mike Pence, and Donald Trump if they want to live.
Over the last couple of weeks, these individuals have said the surge in Coronavirus cases is:
- Due to more testing ( Ducey, Trump, Pence, and other Republican science-denying officials have said this.Not true.)
- A fact of life we have to live with as we keep the economy open (Crist, a medical physician did not look good when she said that.)
- Not a second wave (This is true. We are still in the first wave.)
- Not to worry because a vaccine is on the way to production (not quite there either.)
In Arizona, a record 2392 COVID 19 cases were reported on June 16, 2020.
1,827 new Coronavirus cases in the Grand Canyon State and 20 more deaths were reported on June 17, 2020.
According to further reporting from AZ Central:
“Inpatient beds for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 hit a record number Monday, with 1,506 inpatients, according to hospital data reported to the state and posted on its website Tuesday.”
“ICU beds in use, ventilators in use and emergency department visits for COVID-19 all reached record levels Monday as well.”
“Tuesday marks the first time the state has reported more than 2,000 new cases in a single day, per state data. Previously, the record was 1,654 new cases reported on June 12.”
Yuma and Santa Cruz counties are becoming Coronavirus hotspots.
Overall, Arizona has had 39,097 COVID 19 cases and 1,219 Coronavirus related fatalities.
The public health emergency because of this pandemic situation appears to be getting worse.
Where is Governor Doug Ducey and Dr. Cara Crist?
What are they doing to help stem the tide of COVID 19?
In three words: Apparently not much.
According to AZ Central, the Governor’s office has said that it:
“It plans to expand its public health information campaign, further ramp up testing, expand contact tracing, and continue to watch hospital capacity.”
Time will tell how vigorously Mr. Ducey and his team follow up on those commitments.
Heath Safety and Preventive Measures from Stanton, Sinema, and the State Medical Community.
Leading Democrats like Congressional Nine House Representative (and former Phoenix Mayor) Greg Stanton and Senator Kyrsten Sinema have criticized the Governor and his team handling of the Coronavirus over the last month and have advanced their own ideas to help Arizona residents. So, have leading experts in the State Medical Community who have criticized Mr. Ducey for not requiring the wearing of masks and his failure to lead by example (like Trump and Pence) in this area.
Representative Stanton released a statement on June 14 called “Five Steps for a Safer Arizona.”
In his statement, the former Phoenix Mayor (and perhaps future Gubernatorial contender) called for:
- “Mandating the wearing of masks in public settings.
- Better guidance for small businesses on how to reopen.
- Expand testing and speed up the processing of test results.
- Put a more urgent priority on contact tracing.
- Have weekly testing conducted on all health care workers, including those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”
Please click here to read the entirety of Representative Stanton’s statement.
Criticizing Governor Ducey for reopening the state too early and saying no one should be surprised about the resulting Coronavirus surge from that decision, the Senator also called for increased testing, contact tracing, and social distancing.
She also questioned the Governor’s strategy focus on hospital capacity rather than prevention measures to stop people from getting sick in the first place. She commented:
“I don’t think it makes sense to design your policy based on whether or not there are enough hospital beds for people to die in. I think we should be designing our policy about how do we reduce the spread, so fewer people are dying, fewer people are in the hospitals and fewer people are contracting the virus. That should be our focus. And we can do that while also safely reopening our businesses and our economy.”
Apparently, Senator Sinema, according to AZ Mirror and AZ Central, like the Democratic Women Mayors of Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson, has found it difficult to directly reach the Governor and discuss these issues.
Finally, according to further reporting from AZ Central, approximately 1000 members of the Arizona Medical Community have written letters to the Governor, asking that he require people to wear masks in public settings.
One of the letters states:
“By wearing masks, we can curtail a huge surge of COVID-19 cases in Arizona and reduce unnecessary mortality in our community,”
The Governor’s office has released advisories to wear masks in public but, probably because he fears the reaction of his fringe base (some of whom are members of the Arizona State Legislature) has stopped short of making it a requirement.
Governor Ducey needs to stop worrying about his base (and how they will react in any future campaigns he wants to pursue after he leaves the Governor’s office) and do what is right for all of the people in the state, even the ones who do not believe in science and think wearing masks somehow compromises their personal freedom.
He needs to step up to the plate, reclaim the positions he had before choosing to reopen and answer the call of history and the need for public safety now.
National Leaders in the Trump Administration need to do that as well.