Arizona is the No. 1 hotspot for coronavirus in the world: Latino leaders react
On May 15, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey began plans to reopen the state. Since then it appears Arizona has abandoned any sort of plan to stop the spread.
Per capita, Arizona has had more new coronavirus cases over the last week than any country in the world. Florida pulls a close second.
In a New York Times ranking, wherein it approaches each U.S. state as a country, Arizona took the top spot, followed by Florida and South Carolina.
Officials from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s office refuted the New York Times’ statistics, saying, “there is no question that Arizona is experiencing a significant number of COVID cases, but reports that we are the worst in the world lack context and are misleading and inaccurate.”
The governor’s office compared Arizona’s testing number to those of Brazil, saying Arizona has conducted over 8,000 tests per 100K compared to Brazil’s 1,400.
“New York’s positivity rate during its peak was more than double what AZ is seeing now,” the office added.
But throwing out numbers doesn’t absolve Arizona government’s lack of response to the pandemic since it first appeared in the state.
Graphs show a clear divide in the curve’s progression from the moment Gov. Ducey began to reopen the state. Numbers had only just started to plateau, before seeing an incredibly sharp increase that has now surpassed the world.
Arizona is likely still undercounting cases as it doesn’t have enough testing to cover all new infections, Vo reported, and around 90% of the state's ICU beds are currently occupied.
“Arizona's COVID-19 response has been a failure on the part of the State and the White House, and nowhere is that more evident than in testing capacity,” tweeted Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) in response to the statistics.
“We need FEMA to coordinate with the state on a testing blitz to keep our communities safe,” Grijalva continued.
Arizona's #COVID19 response has been a failure on the part of the State and the White House, and nowhere is that more evident than in testing capacity.
We need FEMA to coordinate with the state on a testing blitz to keep our communities safe. https://t.co/eHKmDgeWXE
— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) July 8, 2020
Grijalva joined Rep. Ruben Gallego and other members of Congress in calling on the federal government for aid in a letter.
AZ has the highest positive COVID test rate in the U.S. The state is overwhelmed and people are waiting 8 hours for tests in 100 degree heat. Without widespread testing it will only get worse.
We are in crisis and we need the federal government's help now. pic.twitter.com/lGB2lChkoa
— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) July 7, 2020
“AZ has the highest positive COVID test rate in the U.S. The state is overwhelmed and people are waiting 8 hours for tests in 100 degree heat. Without widespread testing it will only get worse,” tweeted Gallego.
“We are in crisis and we need the federal government's help now,” he continued.
Arizona is now stuck playing catch-up, a consequence of the governor’s quick action to reopen, and slow movement in implementing real action to stop the spread.