From Arizona to Georgia, Americans are picking up their newspapers and reading about how Republican politicians are failing to lead them out of the pandemic. As editorial after editorial has argued, Republican governors are on the wrong side of history and science, resisting mask and vaccine mandates, pushing harmful misinformation, and threatening phony lawsuits. Meanwhile, the American public supports President Biden’s plan to crush the virus and get our economy back on track.
Here’s a look at what voters in states across the country are reading— and seeing — about the Republicans’ failure to lead on COVID-19:
Arizona Republic: Gov. Doug Ducey must stop handcuffing schools that want to protect kids from COVID-19
In fact, the CDC released a study on Friday that found schools in Maricopa and Pima counties that began the school year with a mask requirement were 3.5 times less likely to experience a COVID-19 outbreak than those without one.
Yet many public schools are sorely missing this key mitigation component, thanks to the threats of legal action and diminished funding from Gov. Doug Ducey.
The irony is that Ducey used to claim that his pandemic decisions would be based on public health, not politics. Yet he has made it his mission of late to stand in the way of public health recommendations.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Opinion: Regents and Gov. Kemp on wrong side of history and science on COVID
Kemp and the Regents are on the wrong side of science and history. Even among Republican-controlled Southern states, Georgia is an outlier. The flagship universities in Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina require masks in classrooms.
Kemp is not only discounting the scientists within Georgia’s university system. He is ignoring warnings from historians that his politically driven actions in the worst health crisis to ever face Georgia will define his legacy.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Opinion: State needs to do more to fight COVID-19
It’s intriguing to wonder whether Georgia would have fared better had Gov. Brian Kemp and the rest of state government kept the pandemic front and center throughout the course of this plague?
The results likely could not have been worse, given the more than 21,000 who’ve died of COVID here so far. And Georgia, its people and the economy that supports us all might well have been healthier than we are now.
The Salt Lake City Tribune: Utah’s leaders should follow the example of our public colleges and get behind vaccine mandates, the Tribune Editorial Board writes
The argument that our state officials are standing up for individual liberty by opposing Biden’s jab-or-test requirement is without merit. The argument that a decision to vaccinate or not affects only the person making that choice, and not everyone they encounter, is palpably false.
Our leaders might as well defend the right of their constituents to drive 70 mph through school zones or to pee on the floor in restaurants. The example they set has left us with people who are disgracefully hostile to health care workers, who disrupt public meetings, schools that thought about sweeping case counts under the rug and families that won’t cooperate with schools’ efforts to test and trace.