Coronavirus

Coronavirus USA: why is Arizona receiving praise from the White House?

Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has been one of the few state leaders to receive the personal approval of President Trump over his recent response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the Copper State.

Coronavirus USA: why is Arizona receiving praise from the White House?
JOSHUA ROBERTS REUTERS

In another high-profile interview in the run up to November’s election, this time with reporter Jonathan Swan, US president Donald Trump aimed to deflect focus from his own administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis to that of the state governors.

“I could tell you right now who the great ones are and who the not-so-great ones are. But the governors do it. We gave them massive amounts of material," Trump told Swan in the interview aired earlier this week. 

Sticking to party lines, Trump has been quick to criticize Democratic governors while praising those from the Republican party. And Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona has been one of the few state leaders to receive the personal approval of President Trump over his recent response to the coronavirus pandemic in the Copper State.

Arizona has had the eighth largest caseload in the US with over 184,000 cases and 4,000 deaths, according to figures sourced by the New York Times. Having reached a peak of 4,877 new cases on 1 July, Arizona has since seen those numbers drop to 1,698 registered cases on 5 August. Hospitalizations and deaths have also dropped significantly from peaks in June and July, with Trump hailing Gov. Ducey for doing an “incredible job” to fight Covid-19.

A poster with coronavirus relief materials that have been provided to Arizona is displayed as President Donald Trump meets with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

Trump on Arizona coronavirus response

“He has done an incredible job on COVID, or COVID-19, or about 19 other names we can call it. It’s got probably more names than anything else you can think of. And he was hit very hard, and he’s — and he hit back even harder,” said President Trump in a White House Meeting with Gov. Ducey.

“And I’d like to have Doug explain it a little bit. And you — perhaps you both want to explain it, but you’ve done a fantastic job. We’re very proud of you. We love the people of Arizona, and they are very proud of the job you’ve done also, Doug.”

The slow of the spread of Covid-19 in Arizona has been attributed to the implementation of face mask requirements in several areas, as well as statewide orders to shut businesses such as bars, nightclubs and gyms and limit restaurant capacity.

Sin tituloUS President Donald Trump meets with Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

Ducey: We’re going to keep our guard up

“We had a very difficult June. We’ve had a much better July. We sat down with Dr. Birx (Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force leader) and the Coronavirus Task Force and talked about mitigation steps — things like wearing masks. And we’ve got masks in over 90 percent of our states right now. And then the simple things like physical distancing,” said Gov. Ducey.

“And we did take some further steps. We were in the unhappy but responsible position of dispersing large crowds. So bars and nightclubs and gyms all closed temporarily. But upon putting those steps out there, we’ve seen improvement every week, week over week, for four weeks.

“We’re going to keep our guard up. We’re going to stay vigilant, but there’s a real path forward and a commonsense approach that we can apply in Arizona not only around saving lives, but also safely and successfully getting our kids back to school at the appropriate time.”

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