Rep. Ruben Gallego among leaders calling for mask mandate, state action

Jun 16, 2020, 2:16 PM | Updated: 2:46 pm
(Victoria Jones/PA via AP)...
(Victoria Jones/PA via AP)
(Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego is among a growing list of Arizona leaders calling for state officials to take action to mitigate the increased spread of coronavirus.

Gallego on Monday held a press conference with Will Humble, former Arizona Department of Health Services director, and others in which he urged Gov. Doug Ducey to enforce restrictions and mandate new ones.

He said Tuesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show that Arizona could reach a dire situation without increased restrictions.

“There are options we can take right now to stop this infectious spread,” Gallego said. “If we don’t take these actions now, it’s going to get to a point where we might have to go to a second shutdown, which nobody wants.”

Gallego, a Democrat from Phoenix, said he wanted masks to be mandatory throughout the state.

Gallego also called for more contact tracing and stricter distancing rules in public establishments such as restaurants.

U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton also called for mandatory masks as part of his five-part plan revealed Sunday to keep Arizona safe.

State and Maricopa County health officials last week for the first time recommended wearing masks in public.

“The government showing leadership would go a long way,” Gallego said.

State leaders like Gallego are looking for additional guidance as Arizona faces a continued rise in COVID-19 case totals and hospitalizations.

The Arizona health department reported 2,392 new coronavirus cases, a new daily high, and 25 additional deaths Tuesday morning.

“A second shutdown hurts economy, hurts trust in government and it would actually be worse for economic output in this state,” Gallego said.

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Rep. Ruben Gallego among leaders calling for mask mandate, state action