PHOENIX — EDITOR'S NOTE: Gov. Ducey's office reached out to 12 News to clarify that he accidentally misstated the nature of the congressional and administration support for bringing more vaccines to Arizona to help vaccinate the population of temporary Arizona residents from cold-weather states.
Ducey hopes to get move vaccines in the future to support this added population.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey spoke exclusively with 12 News anchor Mark Curtis about the state’s vaccination campaign and the troubles many residents have had getting appointments.
Ducey also addressed internal division in the state Republican Party, including his censure that was spearheaded by party chair Kelli Ward.
And he says he’s been in close discussion with the Biden Administration about major changes in the nation’s approach to immigration.
Watch the full interview on the 12 News YouTube channel:
Arizona has administered 822,821 COVID-19 vaccine doses so far while reporting 3,826 new COVID-19 cases, 196 new COVID-19-related deaths on Friday.
The majority of the state is giving out doses to people in the Phase 1B category that includes Arizonans 75 and older, educators and first responders. Some places have been able to include Arizonans 65 to 74 as well.
It's been a mad dash for residents who have run into issues with the ADHS website, confusion over how to schedule a second dose between the various points of distribution and a lack of available appointments.
"Of course, it started out with some bumps, probably the thing that we heard most is we've got to make it more user friendly on the website," Ducey said. "That's been a persistent challenge, the number of servers that we need to back up the amount of traffic that we've been faced with that on these websites."
Ducey says the state has also been fighting for additional doses from Washington D.C. since the state welcomes a large number of "snowbirds," or seasonal residents who come to Arizona during the winter.
"We need more supply, we need more inventory. And we've been very vocal with both the Biden administration and our delegation."
Arizona had been the site of significant investment from the Trump Administration with large-scale border wall construction, but President Joe Biden has made it clear he wants to change direction.
"I would say they are listening to us," Ducey said on his contact with the new administration. "I have some concerns on the talk around immigration and confusion with border security."
"So I have a concern that we're going to let our guard down from the federal government's perspective on what we've been fighting in terms of drug cartels, human trafficking, and child sex trafficking."
But Ducey says he'll continue working with Biden to secure the Arizona border.
Arizona voted for a Democrat in last year's presidential election for the first time since 1996, and the ensuing fallout and conspiracy claims of voter fraud have caused a deep rift within the Republican Party.
The divide culminated with GOP chair Kelli Ward leading a party censure of Ducey and other prominent Arizona Republicans.
"That was an action of no consequence at all," Ducey said on his censure. "And there has been discontent at the state party level for some time in the state of Arizona."
"What I'd say to the state party chairman, is why don't you focus on winning some races?"
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