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Arizona political leaders react to Ducey, Trump White House meeting

President Donald Trump gestures to a poster with coronavirus relief materials that have been provided to Arizona as he meets with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

PHOENIX – Arizona political leaders reacted to Gov. Doug Ducey taking a trip to Washington D.C., Wednesday to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss the state’s handling of coronavirus.

During Ducey’s visit, Trump praised the Republican governor for his response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state and praised Arizona as a model for how to fight the coronavirus.

“The first thing we want is to have a strong partnership with this White House and this is what they’ve delivered to Arizona,” Ducey said after meeting with the President.

“We think the steps that we took in June to mitigate the spread and to turn the tide on what was rising cases, rising hospitalizations, ICU, emergency room in a much different direction is really a model that other states can apply.”

Since the visit, Arizona Democrats have voice displeasure while Republicans have echoed the president’s sentiments.

Democrat U,S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema called out Ducey and said cases started to drop after the governor gave power to mayors and local municipalities to implement their own mask mandates.

“This is not a success story. It’s a warning to other states,” Sinema said in a thread of tweets.

Ducey departed for Washington while Arizonans are waiting on school guidance, something Tucson Mayor Regina Romero pointed out in her criticism of the governor.

“The handling of COVID-19 in Arizona by Doug Ducey is a microcosm of the absence of clear direction and abdication in leadership being displayed at the federal level under the Donald Trump Administration,” Romero said on Twitter.

On the other hand, Republican U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko praised Trump and Ducey for working hard to reopen schools, even if Arizona has released minimal guidance on how to reopen schools.

U.S. Rep Ann Kirkpatrick called out Ducey and the White House that the situation the state was in with the virus was not praise worthy.

“We could have done more, and we still can do more,” Kirkpatrick said on Twitter.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s camp in Arizona also voice their opinion on the visit.

“Arizona families are hurting,” Biden for President Arizona State Director Jessica Mejía said in a statement Wednesday. “COVID-19 continues to surge in the state and hundreds of thousands of Arizonans are facing serious economic hardships.

“They are looking to their leaders for a concrete strategy to get this pandemic under control. Instead of photo ops, President Trump and Governor Ducey should take scientists and experts’ advice seriously so that Arizonans can begin the long, hard economic recovery that they have ahead of them.”

Arizona reported 1,444 new coronavirus cases and 70 more deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s documented totals to 183,647 COVID-19 infections and 4,002 fatalities.

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