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Gov. Ducey calls resistance to ban on local mask mandates ‘grandstanding’

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday various city and county leaders who are ignoring his executive order banning local mask mandates were “grandstanding” but he encouraged continued mask use during the COVID pandemic.

“When private businesses are asking people to wear a mask, let’s respect the private business and wear a mask – they’re a good idea,” Ducey said on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

But Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and officials in Pima County are leaving their mask policies in place.

“It’s just more political grandstanding by politicians,” Ducey said. “I plan to help guide us through what’s remaining of this pandemic with responsible behavior.”

He questioned Gallego’s decisionmaking, pointing to her closure of parking lots and grills at city parks Easter weekend as a measure to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think it tells you everything you need about her level of seriousness and nature of approach during the pandemic,” Ducey said.

“It’s actually so weak that it’s funny.”

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office on Tuesday issued an opinion saying that Pima County can enforce its mask mandates despite the executive order.

The opinion written by Solicitor General Beau Roysdene said the governor could order the state health department to issue rules barring local mandates or ignore the opinion and try to enforce his executive order on his own.

Ducey didn’t directly answer when asked how he planned to respond.

“Of course, you listen to the attorney general’s opinions they put out there,” Ducey said. “What I’m going to avoid, not participate in, is the political grandstanding.

“Let’s just do the right thing. Let’s be personally responsible.”

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