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Dr. Christ addresses coronavirus vaccines in Arizona, refuses to take questions about rollout

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 17:35:22-05

PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ did not allow questions at a Wednesday media opportunity for frontline healthcare workers getting their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

A group of healthcare workers were on hand at the Wednesday morning event to receive their second vaccine doses, three weeks after getting their first. See video from the event in the player below.

Dr. Christ also received her second vaccination and, soon after, left the press conference without providing a question-and-answer opportunity despite the COVID-19 crisis worsening across our state.

In mid-December, Governor Doug Ducey and Dr. Christ appeared together while touring a vaccination site, urging Arizonans to get the vaccine.

At a media availability Wednesday, ABC15 reporter Mike Pelton asked Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Marjorie Bessel whether she believes Dr. Christ and Gov. Ducey have done a good job in helping hospitals battle this surge.

"The State of Arizona has now become the hottest hotspot for COVID," Dr. Bessel said. "We are not doing a good job with this virus at this time during this surge of the pandemic. We need additional mitigation, we need enforcement of those mitigation activities, and we need everybody to do their own part.

Valleywise Health also noted Wednesday that they are holding patients in emergency rooms because there are no available staffed ICU or inpatient beds.

"The wait may be anywhere from a few hours to upwards of 24 or 48 hours in the emergency department until we're able to move somebody from the emergency department up into a hospital bed," said Valleywise Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Michael White.

Dr. White also encouraged people to do their part while advocating for more mitigation efforts to help relieve the burden on hospitals.

"I've never personally seen anything like this in all the years I've been...delivering healthcare," Dr. White said.