9 days since Gov. Ducey's last briefing as Arizona's COVID-19 spike draws national attention

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 21:58:53-04

PHOENIX — It has been nine days since Arizona’s governor has had a public briefing on what is happening in the state as COVID-19 cases continue to put us in daily national headlines.

On Wednesday, a new report from the New York Times states Arizona is #1 in the world for new cases per capita.

However, after the report came out, the governor’s office appeared to be on the defense by providing context to the press.

In an email, a spokesperson said, “You may have seen a tweet from the New York Times this morning comparing COVID cases in Arizona to other states and countries. 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.”

See the full statement from the governor's office below.

In a briefing on Wednesday from the Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence said encouraging reports are coming out of our state. "We’re actually seeing early indications of a percent of positive testing flattening in Arizona and Florida and Texas,” he said.

Pence also said Arizona is starting to see visits to the emergency room go down as well.

ABC15 data analyst Garrett Archer said we are starting to see a slight tick down in percent of positive cases in Arizona and there is no sustained growth in visits to the emergency room.

“We are starting to see a plateau in both of those metrics, there’s sort of some variability there as if it's a good thing or a bad thing — good thing being we're sort of reaching a peak infection rate, the bad thing could be that we have a processing capacity and we’ve sort of reached it and we're going to start missing tests and missing cases,” said Archer.

Despite no public updates this week from Gov. Doug Ducey, the White House announced major news that the governor has requested a surge site location for testing in west Phoenix.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office said thousands of tests would be able to be done over a matter of days and there would be a surge of resources to come.

No other information was available at this time.

As for where the governor has been this week — he has been on calls with the Vice President earlier this week, and was on a call Wednesday with governors from around the country.

He is planning a public briefing on Thursday.