The Democrat mayor of Phoenix, one of the hardest-hit cities by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is “spreading lies and misinformation,” claiming a lack of resources is forcing medical personnel to decide who lives and dies, the chairwoman of the Republican Party of Arizona declared on Wednesday.
“It is irresponsible and dangerous for Mayor [Kate] Gallego to be spreading lies and misinformation during a public health crisis, and Phoenix residents deserve better,” Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of the Republican Party of Arizona wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, referring to comments the Phoenix leader made during a CNN interview on Wednesday.
It is irresponsible and dangerous for @MayorGallego to be spreading lies and misinformation during a public health crisis, and Phoenix residents deserve better. Maybe she should spend less time booking national TV interviews for herself and more time getting the facts straight.
— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) July 9, 2020
“Our medical professionals don’t have the resources they need so they are being asked to make difficult decisions,” Mayor Gallego told the leftist outlet.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is lying on national TV
Her misinformation is irresponsible & dangerous
Phoenix deserves better
We deserve a mayor that spends her time solving the complex problems facing our city & less time spreading partisan falsehoods on cable TV
Stop the lies. https://t.co/QFyMLzoRe8
— Merissa Hamilton (@merissahamilton) July 8, 2020
The Republican governor’s office and Vice-President Mike Pence have contradicted the mayor’s claims, echoing other local and federal officials.
Citing the office of AZ Gov. Doug Ducey (R), the local ABC News channel reported on July 2:
No “triage” is taking place under Arizona’s Crisis Standards of Care Plan, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
Triaging of patients is part of a very detailed plan by the state that would help medical professionals make tough decisions on who would get what level of care if resources become critical.
An unnamed spokesperson for Gov. Ducey also dismissed Gallego’s allegations, telling the local ABC outlet:
We appreciate the thoughtful conversation with Vice President Pence and [White House Coronavirus Task Force chief response coordinator] Dr. Deborah Birx, and we are grateful their continued commitment to provide Arizona with support and resources as necessary.
The assertion that Arizona hospitals are deciding ‘who lives and who dies’ would concern anyone, and the implication that this practice is currently taking place would be a surprise to anyone who is closely monitoring the facts and actual hospital usage — because it’s simply not the case.
Vice-President Pence also pushed back against Gallego’s claims, saying about Arizona on July 1, “We don’t ever want any healthcare professional making a decision about who gets healthcare and who doesn’t.”
The VP acknowledged that Arizona’s hospital capacity to deal with the spike in cases remains at a manageable level.
“We continue to see cases rising, but we’ve surveyed hospitals across the state, personal protection equipment appears to be in abundant supply,” he added, echoing some federal officials.
On July 2, AZ Central also noted that the state’s hospitals are not rationing care to coronavirus patients, but hospital leaders say they are preparing for a continued spike in patients.
AZ Central noted:
Hospitals in the state were given the go-ahead by the state’s health director on Monday to use state guidelines to make decisions about which patients receive care if they run out of space or equipment, under what’s called “crisis care standards.”
[However,] Arizona health officials maintain that they have not reached a point where they will need to implement crisis care mode, which provides triage guidelines among other protocols.
On Wednesday, Banner Health, the most extensive healthcare system in Arizona, conceded they are not at the point of triaging patients or rationing care.
“We have adequate beds, staffing, equipment, supplies, and medications at this time,” it declared on Twitter.
Banner Health – Arizona’s largest healthcare system – told me they are NOT triaging patients or rationing care. “We have adequate beds, staffing, equipment, supplies and medications at this time.” Unsure about other hospital systems at this time. https://t.co/BRW5SBxLal
— David Caltabiano (@DavidCaltabiano) July 8, 2020
“Triaging patients is part of a very detailed plan by the state that would help medical professionals make tough decisions on who would get what [if] level resources become critical,” the local ABC News channel explained.
Leaders on both the federal and local level have blasted Mayor Gallego’s mishandling of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and misinformation campaign.
“It was clear to me that Phoenix was not in tune with everything the state was doing…it really pains me when somebody says the federal government isn’t doing anything,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department on Health and Human Services (HHS), told reporters Wednesday.
MORE: @HHS_ASH responds to Mayor Gallego's false claims about insufficient federal support.
"It was clear to me that Phoenix was not in tune with everything the state was doing…it really pains me when somebody says the federal government isn't doing anything." pic.twitter.com/JEF4XNZabO
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) July 9, 2020
Phenix “squandered” $293 million in federal assistance to combat COVID-19, Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio (R) argued on Twitter Wednesday.
“Very little was used for testing, but millions went to handouts for arts & liberal activist groups,” he added.
It's unfortunate PHX is picking a fight during a crisis with the fed govt when they've done so much to help us. Fact: the feds sent PHX $293 million for COVID. PHX squandered it. Very little was used for testing but MILLIONS went to hand outs for arts & liberal activist groups. pic.twitter.com/RMAPNgfgss
— Sal DiCiccio (@Sal_DiCiccio) July 8, 2020
Health analysts believe Arizona has become the new epicenter of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), driven primarily by the situation in hardest-hit Maricopa County, Phoenix, one of the most populated cities in the United States.