If a deadly virus is spreading in Arizona, go out to dinner

Some members of Legislature show less concern than others

By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic 

How seriously are Arizona legislators taking the new coronavirus?

State Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, posted a photo of himself on social media Tuesday dining out with three other lawmakers after 8 p.m., the time when Phoenix bars were ordered to shut dining rooms as a public health precaution.

“It’s 8:15 p.m.,” Kern wrote, pictured pointing at a clock with Rep. Mark Finchem and Sens. David Gowan and Sonny Borelli, all Republicans. “Do you know where Phoenix Mayor (Kate Gallego) is?”

Kern appears to have deleted the Twitter post, and while it is not clear if they were even dining in Phoenix, the image was a clear shot at Gallego’s response to the pandemic. It also made plain that there is nothing approaching a consensus on how the Arizona Legislature should handle the public health emergency.

State Rep. Anthony Kern, R-Glendale, posted a photo (shown below) of himself on social media on March 17 dining out with three other lawmakers after 8 p.m., the time when Phoenix bars were ordered to shut dining rooms as a public health precaution.

While the Legislature approved up to $55 million last week to deal with the public health response to the new coronavirus, lawmakers have sharply disagreed on whether to pass a broader relief package and adjourn in the face of a pandemic — or stick around and work.

Related: Senator Allen swipes at Flagstaff for COVID-19 response

Others have argued for pausing the annual legislative session and resuming when the economic impact is clearer.

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