TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — State Health Director Dr. Cara Christ told KGUN9 last week that it’s declined FEMA”s offer to set up federal pods and bring a quarter million vaccines to Pima County.
Pima County asked the Governor to reconsider the decision.
KGUN9 asked Doug Ducey during his visit to the state run pod at the University of Arizona.
He answered, “Consider this having been reconsidered, we're going to stay the course on where we are.”
KGUN9 relayed that decision to Pima County Health Administrator Dr. Francisco Garcia.
“If that's indeed the case, It would be unfortunate,” he said.
Governor Ducey explained his position.
“We want to work with the Federal Government to get additional supply so we can have additional vaccination happening,” he said, “We're capable of doing it. We already set up the infrastructure.”
Ducey's statement comes only hours after the Pima County Board of supervisors voted on a resolution to get help from the Biden Administration and Arizona's congressional delegation.
It was a rare unanimous vote.
Pima County is asking the feds to help change the Governor's mind, but now “we would sort of escalate this to the feds,” said Garcia.
Following the emergency board meeting, Dr. Heinz sent out a statement. He wrote, in part, “I’m pleased that my colleagues on the Board of Supervisors joined me and voted unanimously to request that FEMA move forward and set up additional vaccination PODs at the El Pueblo Community Center and the Kino Event Center, and in doing so, provide our community with hundreds of thousands of additional doses of critically needed vaccine. The exceedingly rare 5-0 unanimous vote highlights that this issue is not about politics – it's about equitably providing these life-saving vaccines to our community members as quickly as possible."
The county is asking the Biden Administration to direct Homeland Security to establish a federal vaccination center.
Supervisor Dr. Matt Heinz said the resolution is being sent to Arizona's Congressional Delegation asking for support to help push the FEMA involvement forward.
“We don't need an act of Congress thankfully,” said Heinz, “We simply need the act of the Executive. We needs to President or the president's designee as the Secretary of Homeland Security would be to simply say FEMA can do this. And that's it, we're ready to go.”
Dr. Garcia said he's waiting for official word from the Governor.
Pima County Resolution
The Pima County Board of Supervisors respectfully requests the Governor reconsider the matter of providing a Type 1 Federal vaccination center and approve same for distressed and minority communities, and
2. If the Governor does not approve of a Type 1 Federal vaccination center in Pima County, the Board of Supervisors requests that the Biden Administration, in keeping with their National Strategy Goals for COVID-19 vaccination, direct the Department of Homeland Security Secretary and the Acting Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator to establish a Type 1 Federal vaccination center to provide vaccine opportunities to disadvantaged and minority communities.
3. Pima County stands ready to provide the necessary site and administrative, management, security, registration and vaccination support for the placement of a federal Type 1 Community Vaccination Center in Pima County.
4. The Clerk of the Board is directed to send this Resolution to Governor Doug Ducey, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Acting Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as the Arizona Congressional Delegation.