TUCSON— Today, Governor Doug Ducey began phase 1 of lifting social distancing orders and allowing certain businesses to open. In response, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement:
“All of us are eager to return to some semblance of normality, but this decision cannot be made in haste. Prematurely reopening the state not only risks losing more of our loved ones, but also further crippling our local communities by deepening the spread of a virus that has already taken far too great of a toll.
“I am deeply concerned that the state is continuing a push to reopen while the number of new cases has risen over the past 14 days and Arizona is last in the nation in testing per capita. We simply do not have enough testing to ascertain the risk of reopening and adding concern is a recent decision by Governor Ducey to sideline advice and ‘pause’ the work of public health statisticians and experts.
“These are not decisions to be taken lightly. We all want our businesses to reopen and we all want everyone to safely return to work. The last thing we want is businesses to open prematurely, our loved ones to die alone in the hospital, and for Republicans in Congress to deny more aid to businesses because they had their ‘doors open.’ To take heed to President Trump for political reasons will endanger Arizonans.
“Instead, our Governor should be urging this administration to work where it has failed. They must ensure states have testing materials and the ability to swiftly trace and isolate cases. We can get there, but if make the wrong decisions now, it will cost more lives and prolong the economic misery. We can’t afford to get this wrong.
“I will continue working in Congress to expand relief programs for our workers, small businesses, and those who have gone without; ensure that smaller cities and rural areas have access to relief; and demand hazard pay and better workplace protections for our essential workers who have kept our economy afloat during this unprecedented time.”