One year after Arizona’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, Rep. Greg Stanton issued the following statement.
“The past year has been dark. We’ve lost more than 12,000 Arizonans to the coronavirus—family members, neighbors, colleagues and friends. More than 732,000 have been sick, many still suffering lingering side effects. So many of those deaths would have been preventable had there been quicker, science-driven strategic action.
From the earliest days of this virus, federal, state and even some local leaders denied the severity of this public health crisis and repeatedly failed to learn from their mistakes. We saw this when defective test kits were sent to our public health officials and the public wasn’t made aware. We saw it when doctors across the state were discouraged from testing individuals for COVID-19. And we saw it when Arizona became the global leader in the spread of COVID-19, not once—but twice.
Inaction and incompetence—from inadequate contact tracing plans, to a shortage of rapid tests, to delays in getting personal protective equipment to rural and tribal communities—has been deadly in Arizona. And to make matters worse, our governor has failed to model the behavior he expected from Arizonans and ignored science in his approach to fighting the virus. Shockingly to this day, he refuses to adopt the most common-sense of mitigation strategies: mandating masks.
Congress has delivered federal resources and relief to communities five times now. My office continues to work with constituents to ensure they can access critical resources such as unemployment insurance, Paycheck Protection Program loans, housing and rental assistance, and more.
I’m committed to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new Administration to get additional much-needed resources to Arizona to continue fighting this virus and get our residents vaccinated. And I will continue to demand science-backed solutions and strategic plans from our state and local leaders.”