Woman whose dad died from COVID blasts governor for travel

A woman whose father died from COVID-19 is criticizing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey for leaving the state with his wife to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary amid the coronavirus outbreak

“Ï came here to celebrate with my dad but my dad is dead and he’s dead because the person in charge lied and because the governor of this state went along with it. And now he has the luxury to go celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife. Well good for you. … people are dying. It is as bad now as it was when my dad got sick in June.”

Urquiza also said Ducey had abandoned his duties and failed the state “by not taking simple public health precautions to ensure that people have the information that they need to make sound decisions to ensure that people are safe.”

Scarpinato did not immediately respond Friday to a request by The Associated Press for comment on the criticism of Ducey, a Republican.

Mark Anthony Urquiza of Phoenix died of the virus on June 30. His daughter has said her father was serious about taking virus prevention steps until Arizona’s reopening, when he resumed his normal life and headed to a karaoke bar with friends only to get infected.

“His life was robbed. I believe that terrible leadership and flawed policies put my father’s life in the balance,” Urquiza said in July ahead of her appearance at the Democratic National Convention, where she criticized Trump.

On Tuesday, Ducey released a video on social media about the increase in COVID-19 cases. He urged Arizonans to wear face coverings, wash their hands and distance. Ducey reiterated his desire to both protect public health and Arizonans’ economic well-being.

The governor has not imposed a statewide mandate for wearing of masks and for months last spring prohibited local governments from issuing their own requirements. He reversed himself and allowed local mandates once Arizona became a national hot spot in June and July.

Arizona’s outbreak lessened in August and September, but it worsened again in October.

The state on Friday reported 3,015 additional cases and 17 additional deaths, increasing the statewide totals to 269,577 cases and 6,257 deaths.

Arizona’s secretary of state, Democrat Katie Hobbs, automatically becomes acting governor when the governor leaves the state.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Hobbs is a Democrat.