Regina Romero applauded for pressuring Arizona Gov. on mandatory masks
The Tucson mayor took public health into her own hands, after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey failed to respond to her concerns on Arizona’s growing COVID-19 crisis.
Things got even hotter in Arizona when Tucson Mayor, Regina Romero, took-on Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday, urging him to “untie” the hands of local governments to let them mandate masks.
After a premature reopening, Arizona has become the nation's coronavirus hotspot.
Since the surge, many state lawmakers, including the Tucson Mayor have called upon Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) to make sweeping changes to the state’s response.
However in Ducey’s “Returning Stronger” executive order from May, the language blocks smaller municipalities from issuing guidance that is contrary to state orders.
In spite of the order, Romero began to take public health into her own hands, calling on Ducey to “acknowledge there is a problem” and issue stricter health orders.
In an interview with MSNBC, Romero said she attempted to get a meeting with Ducey, wanting to request authority to mandate masks in Tucson, but she was essentially ignored.
— Andrés Cano (@AndresCanoAZ) June 17, 2020
“Little by little he started cancelling the calls with mayors, and now there’s no communication. We have tried to call the governor, my office has tried to call the governor and he requested that we fill a request form,” Romero said during the interview.
Romero said Ducey had been in contact with Arizona mayors in May, however once President Trump visited the state, the governor quickly began measures to reopen.
She continued to say Ducey has been ignoring letters from mayors and health professionals urging him to take the steps to mandate the use of face masks.
“If he’s not willing to do that then he needs to untie the hands of Mayors throughout Arizona so that we can take the necessary steps to protect our communities,” she said.
“We need to make face mask use in public spaces mandatory in order to slow the spread of this pandemic,” she added on Twitter.
Shortly after the interview, Ducey delivered a press conference.
“We are going to change and update guidance so that local governments can implement mask and face covering policies and counties are dealing with unique issues, this allows local leaders to tailor policies,” he said.
And, in a sudden shift from his previous mask policies, Ducey cited studies before encouraging every Arizonan to wear a facemask.
Following the press conference Romero tweeted that she will sign her Emergency Proclamation mandating the use of face masks in Tucson on June 18.
I have directed our City Attorney to work on amending our local emergency proclamation to require wearing masks in public.
Public health experts agree - the time to #MaskUpTucson is NOW.
— Regina Romero (@TucsonRomero) June 17, 2020
Romero proved dramatic change can be made at the statewide level, with Arizona state senator Kyrsten Sinema applauding Romero, saying, “This is Leadership.”