Ducey to continue fight against vaccine, mask mandates in Arizona
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey says he doesn’t plan to stop his pursuit against the implementation of vaccine and mask mandates in the state.
Ducey told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday he intends to take an Arizona Superior Court judge’s ruling that a law banning face mask mandates in schools violates the state constitution all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
“We passed in statute both no mask mandates and no vaccine mandates in Arizona,” Ducey said.
The Republican governor has reiterated for months that Arizona won’t have the mandates aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Arizona school district superintendents, state universities and the city of Tucson are among those that have openly defied Ducey’s wishes against mandates.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat, called Ducey’s COVID-19 management “an utter failure” in a statement last week responding to a letter from the governor’s lawyer over the city’s employee vaccine mandate.
Ducey said he’s made “the best possible decisions in real time” in regards to handling COVID-19 in Arizona.
According to tracking by The New York Times, Arizona surpassed New York this week in all-time COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents and now ranks fifth in the nation in that category.
“I think if you look at Arizona holistically, we’ve done as well as any place in the country in terms of how we’ve been able to protect lives and protect livelihoods,” Ducey said. “There’s always going to be people from the cheap seats throwing stones.
“One thing I want to say that is obvious is mandates did not work across the country.”
Ducey also repeated his desire for all Arizonans to get the COVID-19 vaccine despite no plans for a mandate.
As of Thursday, 4,238,223 people in the state (59%) had been fully vaccinated, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard.
“I want everyone to be safe. I want everyone to use common sense,” Ducey said. “I’ve advocated for people to get the vaccine, but there’s not going be a mandate to get the vaccine.
“And in Arizona, we’re doing pretty well on that and we can do even better now.”