Arizona governor blasted for 'legally meaningless' executive order blocking Tucson's vaccine mandate for city employees

Arizona governor blasted for 'legally meaningless' executive order blocking Tucson's vaccine mandate for city employees
Image via Gage Skidmore

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Monday issued an executive order blocking local governments from requiring COVID vaccinations for worker, AZ Central reports.

Ducey's move follows the Tucson City Council's sweeping 6-1 vote that would "require that city employees must show proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Aug. 24, or face a five-day suspension without pay and possibly higher health-insurance premiums."

Ducey previously signed an executive order "prohibiting vaccine passports and blocking any local government actions that would require a COVID-19 vaccine." However, that order was rescinded after the governor signed Senate Bill 1824.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero (D) described Ducey's executive order as "legally meaningless" and nothing more than "a deadly game of one-upmanship."

According to Romero, the outcome may lead to more hospitalizations and severe cases of COVID-19 as new variants of coronavirus continue to spread.

"Gov. Ducey is paving the way for COVID-19 to spread uncontrollably throughout our state, and attempting to impede those of us who believe in science-based solutions at the local level," she said in a city-issued statement.

Matt Burdick, a Tucson city spokesperson, also pushed back against Ducey's order.

"It is the surest form of protection against COVID-19," Burdick said in an email. "However, we recognize that obtaining a vaccine is a personal health decision."

The Arizona Medical Association has also expressed concern about Ducey's mandates overshadowing the effectiveness of the vaccine.

"As Gov. Ducey specifically stated when he issued the order, all Arizonans should get the vaccine — it's safe, effective and free. That's the message we want the public to hear."

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