By Maria Polletta | Arizona Republic
In the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Doug Ducey brushed off criticism he was acting too slowly to curb its spread by pointing to other parts of the country.
“What’s going on in Arizona is dramatically different than what’s going on in New York and New Jersey,” he said during a March 27 radio interview, explaining why several other governors had closed schools, shuttered restaurants and issued stay-at-home orders before he had.
“We’re in a position where we can prepare and we can plan,” Ducey said.
For a few months, that was true.
But now — a month after Ducey allowed his statewide stay-at-home order to expire, despite warnings from some epidemiologists — the state has drawn national attention for the steep incline of its COVID-19 curve. And other state leaders, such as Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado, are eyeing Arizona the way Ducey once looked at New York.