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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Phoenix Fire Department Photos)...

Phoenix firefighters knock down smoky blaze at scrapyard

Crews did battle with a smoky fire at a scrapyard on Broadway Road in Phoenix on Monday afternoon, authorities said.
15 hours ago
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament expected to bring millions of dollars to Scottsdale

Scottsdale will host the inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament this weekend, an event that could bring millions of dollars to the city.
15 hours ago
Blake Masters, candidate for U.S. senator from Arizona, appears with former President Donald Trump ...
Kevin Stone

Trump reportedly delays plan to endorse Masters in Arizona’s US Senate race

Donald Trump is reportedly tapping the brakes on a plan to endorse venture capitalist Blake Masters in Arizona's GOP Senate primary race.
15 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
Jayme West

Phoenix police searching for fire starters from 2020 and armed would-be robber

A Phoenix business was set on fire in July 2020 and police are looking for two suspects caught on camera.
15 hours ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and other senators speak to the press about a bipartisan infrastructure package...
Kevin Stone

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona makes Time list of most influential people for 2022

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was named to Time magazine’s 2022 list of the world's 100 most influential people.
15 hours ago
Follow @DannyShapiro13...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
Biden calls out Arizona’s Ducey for not having statewide mask mandate