Speaking in a White House press briefing on Wednesday, President Donald Trump praised Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s model to fight the deadliest pandemic in history, even as new positive cases are skyrocketing along with the death rate. “Arizona’s record in containing the virus spread while sufficiently maintaining hospital capacity and opening up the economy has been very successful. The state is an example for all of us and shows us a path forward that can be implemented in other states. Arizona is a model for applying a science-based approach to the decreasing cases and hospitalizations even without enforcing strict lockdown measures.”
However, the ground reality looks quite different in Arizona, as it is registering spikes in the number of new cases after the lockdown measures have been relaxed for businesses and other gatherings in May. On the other hand, while almost every state has enforced the mandatory mask-wearing rule, Arizona left it to the choice of its citizens. After the increase in the number of cases, some of the restrictions have been implemented in late July to restrict public gatherings and close down on bars and other small businesses. Although there is a decrease in the number of cases in the last two weeks, Arizona ranks fifth highest is the number of active hospitalizations in the country. It is also the state with fifth-highest rate of tests to be positive and fifth-highest number of new cases in the last week alone.
There are several other factors that restrict Arizona from being a model state. The test positivity rate is about 18 percent, much higher than the recommended 5 percent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that is sufficient for testing and control of the virus. The state’s capacity of used ICU beds are also more than 80 percent.Dr. Dhillon Randeep
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