By Daniel Stefanski |
As the political impasse between Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs and the Republican-led Legislature remains at a historic divide, legislators continue to create new committees to tackle outstanding issues facing the state.
This week, the Arizona Legislature announced the formation of the Novel Coronavirus Southwestern Intergovernmental Committee “to examine federal, state and local efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, any fallout from such measures, and to identify any possible legal remedies against individuals or entities where appropriate.”
According to the announcement, this committee will “gather information from experts and provide the public with a formal venue to share their stories, experiences, and grievances from the pandemic response by public health departments and healthcare systems.” The committee will also “evaluate protocols and overall public health guidance, funding incentives for health care facilities, injustices committed against families, businesses, workers and industries, potential preventative protections that may have been able to safeguard Arizona citizens against harms committed, and anything else deemed relevant to the pandemic.”
Arizona Senator Janae Shamp was tapped to serve as the committee’s chairman, and Senator T.J. Shope was selected as vice-chairman. Rounding out the committee’s membership will be U.S. Representatives Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and Eli Crane, along with Arizona Representative Steve Montenegro.
Chairman Shamp released the following quote in conjunction with the news about this fledgling committee: “The pandemic was a heartbreaking period for so many people on so many different levels. I lost my job as a Perioperative Nurse because I refused to take the experimental vaccine that we now know has produced serious side effects in a number of otherwise healthy individuals. We’ve witnessed lives and livelihoods lost for no other reason than the mismanagement of COVID-19, and we are determined to hold those accountable for the injustices experienced.”
Vice-Chairman T.J. Shope told AZ Free News his “hope is that this committee will get to the bottom of when public officials knew that virus suppression measures being foisted on the public were actually unnecessary and how fast they responded to lift those measures.” He also praised Senator Shamp’s assembly of “an all-star team of medical experts,” and he expressed excitement for his expected participation.
The committee will meet on May 25 and 26 from 8:30am-4:30pm in the Arizona Senate building, and additional hearings will be scheduled in the future.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.