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Cochise County rejects COVID-19 Relief and gets national attention

Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 20:21:24-05

BENSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — COVID-19 has impacted the lives of every American one way or another.

“It took all the energy out of me, I had trouble breathing, it was horrible, it's no joke,” said Cochise County Resident, Tyler Blouin.

People in Cochise County are no different.

“I sat for five hours in the emergency room waiting to get a bed,” said Andy Jenson who lives in Cochise County half the year.

“My husband just had major surgery which was out patient because there were no hospital beds available because of the COVID,” said Resident Candy Stade.

Despite reports of smaller hospitals in Cochise County being overwhelmed with COVID patients during the pandemic

County supervisors voted 2-1 last month to reject $1.9 million dollars in COVID-19 relief.

“So there were many things like this, gaps that we noticed this money would have provided help for the county, instead of using tax payer dollars,” said Supervisor Ann English.

English was overruled by her two colleagues on the board of supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd. Judd never returned our calls and Crosby said he was unavailable for comment. English says the money could have helped with contact tracing, testing, vaccinations, and health department staffing.

“I thought about the needs for the county so that is why I voted for the money,” English said.

The people we talked to did not all agree with how the COVID-19 pandemic has been handled locally and nationally.

“I myself am not a believer of masks or the shot, I know that's a big taboo,” said Stade.

But they did agree, the county probably could have put that money to good use.

“I don’t think they should've turned any money down,” said Stade. “And if it is going to help the hospitals definitely accept the money.”