JIM SHARPE

Gov. Ducey did what Dems demanded, so they should consider quiet

Jun 18, 2020, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:00 pm

(AP Photo/John Raoux)...

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Before Gov. Doug Ducey changed his mind on masks yesterday, I asked in my Sharper Point commentary, “Where are the voices of the high-profile Republicans on the mask issue?”

When I talked to Republican Mayor John Giles of Mesa this morning, I brought my observation to his attention and he said, “I don’t know why this is being perceived as a partisan issue. I mean, this is a public health and a public safety issue. The virus is not a Republican or a Democrat.”

In all fairness to Mayor Giles, I did ask him if he had spoken out — but chose to speak out by speaking directly to Gov. Ducey on the issue (he didn’t answer). But he was obviously all for a mask requirement as he told me that he will be making Mesans mask-up very soon, so why wasn’t he publicly pushing the governor?

In all fairness to me, I didn’t make it a partisan issue, Mr. Mayor, I just asked why Democrats seemed to be the only ones pushing for a mask requirement.

Today, to keep it ALL fair, I’m going to make it incumbent upon the Democrats to not keep coronavirus political.

Yesterday, no matter whose voice he was listening to, Gov. Ducey changed course and did some things for the first time.

One was speaking at a coronavirus press conference – for the first time – from behind a mask.

And, for the first time, he granted mayors, city councils and county supervisors the ability to require masks.

But handing off power to the locals was far from the only new stuff Ducey’s doing to decimate the disease.

He announced an expanded statewide contact-tracing program that our National Guard will help carry out. And he imposed new state-wide requirements for restaurants and bars which include employees wearing masks and socially-distanced diners.

Speaking out didn’t make coronavirus a partisan issue, despite what Mayor Giles may think and maybe Republican silence didn’t make it political either.

But having gotten what they asked for – and more – if the Democrats still complain or even turn the heat up on Ducey, we will know for sure who’s continuing to cook coronavirus into a very hot partisan potato.

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Jim Sharpe

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Gov. Ducey did what Dems demanded, so they should consider quiet