(Tucson, AZ) – Today, in advance of the August 4th primary, the Kirkpatrick Campaign poses the question: why do the Republican challengers in AZ-02 oppose science and condemn the wearing of masks?
On July 14, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told Americans that we could have the epidemic under control in about two months if everyone committed to wearing face masks. Scientists say the virus can spread through respiratory droplets that pass when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Studies suggest the masks may serve as a helpful barrier to spreading infection. However, according to studies, Arizona has one of the most resistant populations when it comes to wearing face masks. Unsurprisingly, Arizona has also become a global hot spot for COVID-19, with cases and deaths from the virus shattering records every day.
Though reluctant at first, even Governor Ducey has been encouraging Arizonans to wear masks.
Still, Rep. Kirkpatrick’s opponents are telling voters that masks infringe on their freedoms and are not necessary. For example, the same day the CDC released the statement, Joseph Morgan posted a graphic titled “States Least Likely To Wear Face Masks.” Arizona ranked at the top, with the most anti-mask activity. Morgan captioned the graphic, “When I see this data, it makes me proud to be an Arizonan. A lot of liberty-minded people here thankfully.”
Brandon Martin, another Republican challenger, argues against mask mandates because they “violate American freedoms.” Just this week, when Wal-Mart announced a mask mandate in their stores, he implored his followers to shop at smaller businesses instead. Martin has hosted in-person events throughout the district, emphasizing that masks were not required. Extremely few, if any, attendees at these events wore masks while congregating closely in public.
The Republican challengers have repeatedly and publicly promoted an anti-mask agenda, condemned stay-at-home mandates, and played down the pandemic, which has killed nearly 140,000 people in the United States to date.
“I think it’s a shame that people like Morgan and Martin are politicizing a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans,” said campaign spokeswoman Arielle Devorah. “While her opponents are discrediting science on the campaign trail, Rep. Kirkpatrick has made her stance clear: whether it is joining weekly COVID-19 task force discussions with state leaders and medical experts, or campaigning on the accessibility and affordability of health care, Rep. Kirkpatrick is fighting for the well-being of all Arizonans.”
Yesterday, even President Trump had a shift in his talking points around masks. He took the White House podium to encourage Americans to wear masks and said, “whether you like it or not, they have an impact” and that he will use them “gladly.” If the Republican challengers are really as loyal to Trump as they express in their advertisements, we wonder if they will change their messaging and promote mask-wearing, too.
“Here’s a free campaign tip: if the challengers want to earn the votes of Southern Arizonans — they should campaign on protecting the health of Arizonans. Rather than contradicting facts and science for the sake of scoring partisan political points, I urge their campaigns to amplify the truth, lead by example, and help stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Arielle Devorah.