ARIZONA NEWS

Biden calls out Arizona’s Ducey for not having statewide mask mandate

Oct 23, 2020, 2:12 PM | Updated: 2:20 pm
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus at The Q...

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about coronavirus at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

PHOENIX — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called out Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday for not having a statewide mask mandate as coronavirus cases across the state and U.S. surge again.

Biden blamed Ducey’s resistance for implementing a statewide mandate for Arizona’s rise in COVID-19 cases in June and warned of the dangers of not putting one in place.

The criticism comes as Arizona has reported four consecutive days of more than 900 cases. Some cities are also starting to rescind their mask orders.

“Just look at what happened in Arizona. Republican governor initially tried to bar local governments from implementing mask mandates in their communities,” Biden said during a press conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

“In June, Arizona got hit with a surge of cases. Hospitals were flooded. The state health system was overwhelmed.”

Ducey resisted implementing a statewide mask mandate when cases started spiking after his stay-at-home order expired.

He turned over authority on the issue to local governments on June 17 after state Democratic leaders such as U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and U.S. Reps. Ruben Gallego and Greg Stanton called for mask requirements.

On the day the state’s stay-at-home order ended, May 15, the seven-day average for the Arizona Department of Health Services’ newly reported cases was 377.57.

When Ducey started letting local jurisdictions enact mask mandates, that figure was 1,581.71.

Health officials said it would take a couple of weeks for the impact of mask requirements to show up in the data. The seven-day average for reported cases peaked July 6 at 3,844, and then started falling almost as quickly as it had risen.

“Masks save lives. Period,” Biden said.

Ducey rebuked Biden’s criticism in a long Twitter thread, claiming the state has consistently put public health first.

The Republican governor, who spoke at two Arizona rallies for President Donald Trump earlier in the week, said he was swift in allowing local governments to implement mask mandates.

“We have promoted mask use and common sense. Masks work,” Ducey tweeted. “Today we see masks worn statewide in nearly every setting as part of reopening guidelines.

“Our focus has been on compliance and public health education.”

The Kingman City Council on Tuesday voted to lift its mask requirement, the latest Arizona city to do so.

Mohave County’s three largest cities have rescinded their mandates on wearing face masks in public.

“Wearing a mask isn’t a political statement,” Biden said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)...
Torrence Dunham

Tucson votes to terminate city employees who aren’t vaccinated against COVID by Dec. 1

The Tucson City Council voted Tuesday afternoon to terminate city employees who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 1.
19 hours ago
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

US Labor Department warns Arizona, 2 other GOP states over COVID rules

The Biden administration threatened Tuesday to revoke the authority for Arizona and two other Republican-controlled states to handle their own workplace safety enforcement because they have refused to adopt rules to protect health care workers from COVID-19.
19 hours ago
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 07: The Weeknd performs during the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show at R...
KTAR.com

The Weeknd cancels tour with 2 Valley stops, teases stadium tour

Pop sensation The Weeknd on Monday announced the upcoming 2022 tour that had two stops in the Valley has been canceled, teasing a stadium tour that would commence next summer instead.
19 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Verde Valley Fire District)...
KTAR.com

Arizona firefighter-paramedic dies of COVID-19 complications

Tyrone Bell, an Arizona firefighter/paramedic, died Monday from COVID-19 complications, the Verde Valley Fire District announced.
19 hours ago
(Facebook Screenshot/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
Associated Press

MCSO Deputy Juan Ruiz remembered for achieving his dream

A Maricopa County sheriff’s deputy who died after being beaten by a suspect was remembered Tuesday as man who lived his dream to protect and serve.
19 hours ago
Gila River Hotels & Casinos held a groundbreaking ceremony for its fourth metro Phoenix venue, Sant...
Kevin Stone

Gila River tribe breaks ground on 4th Valley casino: Santan Mountain

Gila River Hotels & Casinos held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for its fourth metro Phoenix venue and unveiled the project's name: Santan Mountain.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
Biden calls out Arizona’s Ducey for not having statewide mask mandate