By Corinne Murdock |
Hours before a scheduled appearance on Monday with former Vice President Mike Pence, Governor Doug Ducey’s office announced that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Ducey’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, told KTAR News that the governor was asymptomatic and “feeling well.”
Originally, Ducey was to accompany Pence on a tour of the southern border, followed by attendance at a border security speech by the former vice president at the Arizona Commerce Authority in Phoenix.
During his speech, Pence argued that the Biden administration was exacerbating the border crisis.
“[This border crisis] can be ended almost overnight, if President Biden will just put back the policies the Trump-Pence administration put into effect that reduced illegal immigration by 90 percent,” said Pence.
Pence also lauded Ducey for his leadership and wished him a speedy recovery from COVID-19. In April, the governor coordinated with half of the country’s governors to launch a strike force modeled after his 2015 state-level initiative to address the border crisis.
“Let me say: how fortunate the people of Arizona are to have a leader so principled and devoted to securing the border and keeping our families and our neighborhoods safe,” said Pence.
Among those that met with Pence on Monday were Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels and his department, along with Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director Tim Roemer.
According to the latest Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data, there have been nearly 1.3 million border encounters since last October.
The Biden administration’s attempt to rescind Title 42, policy under former President Donald Trump to expedite expulsion of illegal immigrants, failed last month. The program was slated to end on May 23, but a federal court in Louisiana issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Biden administration from ending the policy.
Ducey contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated and boosted; he has advertised the vaccine as “safe, effective, and free” repeatedly.
Ducey credited the senior advisor on the pandemic and lead for statewide vaccination efforts, Dr. Richard Carmona, for ensuring that the vaccine was the best tool to fight COVID-19. As AZ Free News reported, Carmona serves on the board of directors for a major distributor of the COVID-19 vaccine, McKesson.
From home, Ducey provided commentary on the former vice president’s visit.
Favorability polls conducted last week through YouGov, Politico, and Harris indicated that voters largely had an unfavorable view of the former vice president. The latest polling for 2024 presidential picks reflected that Pence falls behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with or without former President Donald Trump in the running.