Friday, June 26, 2020

How (Fill In Republican-Run State) Lost Control Of Coronavirus

Look at this chart and see if you can identify a common denominator (click to enlarge):

(Source: Washington Post, 6/26/20)

If you said "Republican governance," you're likely a faithful reader of this blog (or maybe just read the header).

Arizona is the current hot spot (with Texas and Florida in close pursuit), so let's take a quick look at how the government of Trumpy Republican Gov. Doug Ducey lost control of the pandemic:
... [P]hysicians, public health experts, advocates and local officials say the crisis was predictable in Arizona, where local ordinances requiring masks were forbidden until Gov. Doug Ducey (R) reversed course last week. State leaders did not take the necessary precautions or model safe behavior, these observers maintain, even in the face of compelling evidence and repeated pleas from authoritative voices.
“We have failed on so many levels,” said Dana Marie Kennedy, the Arizona director of AARP, who said her organization has yet to receive a response to four letters outlining concerns to the governor. She is working on a fifth. [snip]
At critical junctures, blunders by top officials undermined faith in the data purportedly driving decision-making, according to experts monitoring Arizona’s response. And when forbearance was most required, as the state began to reopen despite continued community transmission, an abrupt and uniform approach — without transparent benchmarks or latitude for stricken areas to hold back — led large parts of the public to believe the pandemic was over.
And now, Arizona is facing more per capita cases than recorded by any country in Europe or even by hard-hit Brazil. Among states with at least 20 people hospitalized for covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, no state has seen its rate of hospitalizations increase more rapidly since Memorial Day.  (our emphasis)
Arizona, like Texas and Florida and other states in the Sun Belt, has its share of loud Trump- led Covidiots, willing to politicize a health emergency:
...[R]esistance to health precautions remains pronounced. At an anti-mask rally Wednesday, a member of the Scottsdale City Council, Republican Guy Phillips, shouted the dying words of George Floyd — “I can’t breathe” — before ripping off his mask, enlisting a rallying cry of the nationwide protests against racial injustice to inveigh against face coverings that reduce airborne transmission of tiny droplets. Hours later, he issued an apology “to anyone who became offended.”  (our emphasis)

These knuckle- draggers and the knuckle- draggers that cheer them have tied the precautionary and effective practice of mask- wearing to a threat to their Constitutional rights and freedumb! because it's the message they've received from the mask- less Covidiot- in- chief and his sycophants, who want everybody back to work and shopping, to hell with the cost.  So, in Arizona, and elsewhere, people elected to look out for the common good ended up prematurely and  shortsightedly looking out for the business community's bottom line, while trying desperately to please the Covidiot- in- chief:
Ducey’s original order reopening the state — and preventing local officials from setting their own rules despite mounting evidence about the benefits of masks and social distancing — was in keeping with a top-down approach to governance that critics say has characterized his tenure. In 2017, he signed a bill approved by the Republican-controlled legislature that allowed any state legislator to direct the Arizona attorney general to investigate a local regulation for a possible violation of state law. Consequences included potentially losing revenue from the state.
“The biggest challenge has been Governor Ducey tying the hands of mayors and county health departments,” said Regina Romero, the Democratic mayor of Tucson, who said she weighed an emergency proclamation mandating masks in mid-March but was advised against it by her city attorney. Her city’s budget is about $566 million, Romero said, more than a fifth of which comes from the state.  (our emphasis)
The full article is a good read and, with minor variations, tells a story that could be told of late closing and too- early opening blunders by Republican governors in other states now seeing spikes.

BONUS:  And no, don't let anyone "both sides" this --

BONUS II:  The Government Accountability Office weighs in --

BONUS III:  What a difference a competent leader would have made--


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