Politics

Trump Says Arizona Is Model for Reducing COVID-19 Cases, Avoiding Punishing Lockdown

President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised Arizona as a “model” for the nation in handling the CCP virus while avoiding a prolonged lockdown, which he called “punishing.”

“Arizona has been able to protect high risk populations and quickly bring its outbreak under control without the need to impose overly punitive measures,” Trump told reporters at a press conference at the White House. The president called Arizona “a model for applying a science-based approach to the decreasing cases and hospitalizations” without imposing a “punishing lockdown.”

“Arizona has a record and a record really to be proud of. Its reduced the number of daily new cases by over 75 percent, cut the positivity rate in half and reduced ER visits by two-thirds, all the while keeping the economy functioning and functioning really well,” Trump told reporters.

The state experienced a severe increase in cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, starting around the end of May.

The number of daily confirmed cases is now on a downward trajectory after having reached a peak around late June to early July, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. Arizona now has more than 182,200 confirmed CCP virus cases and 3,932 deaths recorded as of early Thursday.

At a meeting with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at the White House earlier in the day, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said that Arizona has set an example of how to get the reproduction rate of the CCP virus to below 1, which means the outbreak is subsiding. The replication rate is the number of new infections generated by each case.

President Trump Meets With Arizona Governor Doug Ducey In The Oval Office
President Donald Trump makes remarks as he meets with Arizonas Gov. Doug Ducey in the Oval Office in Washington on Aug. 5, 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via Getty Images)
President Trump Meets With Arizona Governor Doug Ducey In The Oval Office
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator (L) and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany (R) look on as President Donald Trump makes remarks as he meets with Arizonas Gov. Doug Ducey in the Oval Office at the White House, on Aug. 5, 2020. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via Getty Images)

“Weve demonstrated now that you can keep a state open and retail open if you do these five commonsense pieces. And its created a safe—saved the hospitals and saved a lot of Arizonans,” Birx said.

Ducey told Trump that Arizona has implemented a number of mitigation steps such as encouraging the wearing of masks, social distancing, personal hygiene, and staying home if one feels sick.

“Weve got masks in over 90 percent of our states right now … And we did take some further steps,” Ducey said. “We were in the unhappy but responsible position of dispersing large crowds. So bars and nightclubs and gyms all closed temporarily. But upon putting those steps out there, weve seen improvement every week, week over week, for 4 weeks.”

The Trump administration is pursuing similar actions to Arizona for other states. Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force have visited more than 15 states to encourage a similar course of action, including Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio.

Donald Trump, Doug Ducey
President Donald Trump meets with Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 5, 2020. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)

The federal government has provided Arizona with ample help and resources in its efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, Trump said. Such efforts include the provision of nearly 70,000 vials of the antiviral drug remdesivir—enough to treat more than 11,000 patients—and the deployment of more than 1,000 national guard and medical personnel to Arizona.

Trump noted at the press conference that the goal for states is to “protect the most vulnerable, increase recovery rates … and prevent hospitals overcrowding, all the while preventing the kind of stringent lockdowns that would inflict substantial suffering in this phase of the battle.”

He noted that at its peak, Arizona still had 15 percent of beds available across the state, with about 20 percent of all occupied beds assigned to paRead More From Source

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