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Ducey draws praise from White House for Arizona’s coronavirus response

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey drew praise for Arizona’s coronavirus response during a visit to the White House on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump said the Republican governor has done “a fantastic job” of handling Arizona’s response after a sharp increase in cases occurred following Memorial Day.

“He was hit very hard and he hit back even harder,” Trump said during a meeting with Ducey and others at the Oval Office.

Many key metrics about the severity of Arizona’s pandemic, including coronavirus-related hospitalizations, are the lowest they’ve been in weeks following a surge in June and July.

The spread of coronavirus in Arizona has been slowing after the implementation of face mask requirements in many areas — including all of Maricopa County — and statewide executive orders to close businesses such as bars and gyms and to restrict restaurant occupancy.

Trump and Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force leader, credited the mitigation strategies put in place by Ducey for the improving numbers.

“He was willing to be the first example of how to move forward together,” Birx said of Ducey.

Arizona reported 1,698 new coronavirus cases and 87 more deaths on Wednesday, bringing the state’s documented totals to 182,203 COVID-19 infections and 3,932 fatalities.

“We’ve seen improvement week over week for the past four weeks,” Ducey said. “We’re going to keep our guard up, we’re going to stay vigilant.

“There’s a real path forward and a commonsense approach we can apply in Arizona.”

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