The mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, Kate Gallego (D), says the state lifted its coronavirus restrictions too early, which contributed to the ongoing surge of new coronavirus cases.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Gallego said, “We opened way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to reemerge. And we reemerged at zero to sixty.”
She explained that the state was one of the last states to implement stay at home orders and one of the first lift the restrictions.
She continued, “We had crowded nightclubs handing out free champagne, no masks. Our 20 to 44-year-olds, which is my own demographic, really led the explosion.”
“And we’ve seen such growth in that area. We’re seeing a lot of people go to large family gatherings and infect their family members,” she added.
Watch the video below:
On why Arizona has the highest daily new COVID-19 cases per capita in the country, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego tells @MarthaRaddatz: "We opened way too early in Arizona. We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to reemerge." https://t.co/6GKZf7hQOI pic.twitter.com/psluto8O2l— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) July 5, 2020
Her comments come as more than 30 states have reported an increase in coronavirus cases. Additionally, members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force told members of Congress that the surge in cases is a “real increase” and not simply the result of more testing.
Gallego said she asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for more community-based testing to make it easier for residents to get tests. However, she said, “We were told they’re moving away from that.”
Administration officials have said they are moving away from community-based testing because it is “antiquated” and there are more testing options now than there were at the beginning of the outbreak.
In recent days, the state set a new record for the highest number of new cases reported in a single day. As of Sunday afternoon, there were more than 97,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.