The $1.9 million in pandemic aid would have gone a long way in Cochise County, a rural borderland where a winter of infections swamped hospitals. There was money for tracking cases. Testing in remote ranching towns. Funds fortifying the Arizona county’s strained health department.
But the county’s Republican-controlled board of supervisors stunned many residents and health care workers by voting last month to reject the federal money, becoming one of the rare places in America to turn down Covid-19 assistance from Washington.
“We’re done,” said Peggy Judd, one of two Republican supervisors who voted against accepting the money. “We’re treating it like the common cold.”
The vote transformed what would usually be a rote line on a government agenda into an emotional flashpoint in this county of 125,000 people where life is shaped by the southwestern border, rhythms of ranching and, now, a pandemic that has killed 522 residents.
news of the 2-1 vote in The Herald/Review, the local newspaper. Some criticized the supervisors for reinforcing local vaccine resistance with a welter of anti-vaccine misinformation.
a survey from the National League of Cities, representing a tiny fraction of the hundreds of billions of dollars pouring into cities and states.