An Arizona county turned down $1.9 million in Covid reduction. That is why.

The $1.9 million in pandemic support would have gone a great distance in Cochise County, Ariz., a rural borderland the place a winter of infections swamped hospitals. There was cash for monitoring circumstances. Testing in distant ranching cities. Funds fortifying the county’s strained well being division.

However the county’s Republican-controlled board of supervisors shocked many residents and well being care staff by voting to reject the federal money, turning into one of many uncommon locations in America to show down a Covid windfall from Washington.

“We’re performed,” stated Peggy Judd, one in all two Republican supervisors who voted in opposition to accepting the cash. “We’re treating it just like the frequent chilly.”

The vote remodeled what would normally be a rote line on a authorities agenda into an emotional flash level on this county of 125,000 individuals the place life is formed by the Southern border, rhythms of ranching, and now, a virus that has killed 522 residents.

Medical doctors and hospital officers, usually reluctant to plunge into divisive debates of their largely conservative county, began talking out after they noticed information of the vote in the local newspaper. Some criticized the supervisors for reinforcing native vaccine resistance with a welter of anti-vaccine misinformation.

“It’s madness,” stated Dr. Cristian Laguillo, who has been treating a crush of Covid sufferers at Copper Queen Neighborhood Hospital within the previous copper-mining city of Bisbee. “It was a call made with out thought, with out care. That’s maddening.”

Greater than 200 small rural cities throughout the nation have declined pandemic funds from the Biden administration, in response to a survey from the Nationwide League of Cities. Some see it as a public repudiation of vaccine mandates, the $30 trillion nationwide debt and a persistent pandemic that’s killing 2,500 individuals every day whilst new circumstances ebb and Democratic states raise pandemic restrictions like masks guidelines. An Arizona county turned down $1.9 million in Covid reduction. That is why.

Fry Electronics Team

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