Statement at Pinal County Board of Supervisors
January 6, 2021
Never in my lifetime have we lived during a more consequential and threatening challenge than today in both our civic and our personal lives.
Your federal legislator counterparts in Washington are at this very moment confronting radical challenges to our democratic republic’s civic life.
While here in Arizona, personal lives are being threatened by the fastest rate of covid infections in the nation, with 121.8 new cases per 100,000 persons, followed by second-place California with 97.1 cases per 100,000. Thus far killing 385 of your Pinal constituents.
These are not just numbers. Two days ago your former colleague Pete Rios lost his brother Joe Rios. This past week I lost the second of my lifelong childhood friends.
While the Governor is calling on local governments for enforcement, here in Pinal County the former Director of Public Health, Dr. Shauna Mc Issac was apparently discharged for daring to advocate mandating face-masking as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Protecting the lives of Pinal County residents must not be a political issue for Members of this Board of Supervisors.
Nor can enforcement of life-saving measures be a personal choice left to the County Sheriff who is burdened by personal difficulties as he begins his second term, and continues to grapple with the process of professional law enforcement versus political ambition.
Nonetheless, the death-dealing pandemic calls for bold leadership by this Board of Supervisors.
It is not an overstatement to say that how you respond to our State’s highest exposure to infection has now become a matter of life or death for your constituents.
In the memory of Joe Rios, of my hometown friends Colonel Mike Terrill and Dr. Santos Vega, and on behalf of the families of 385 Pinal neighbors, I urge you to enact a mandatory public health policy that requires face-masking and enforcement as the most effective science-based tool to save lives and to save our economy.