Podcast: Rep. PPH Capitol Updates: COVID Vaccine Bans to School Vouchers & More

A View from the Left Side podcast

Season 2, Episode 4 of A View from the Left Side is a compilation of Legislative Updates from Arizona House member Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley. These updates were recorded in February 2022. They range in topic from banning the COVID vaccine and critical race theory in schools but making it easier to have guns at schools — you can’t make this stuff up. 

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Stay Safe! #AZ Legislators, Staff & Lobbyists Test Positive for COVID (video)

Pam Powers Hannley

Stay safe out there! As predicted, Arizona Legislators, staff and lobbyists are testing positive for COVID19 after multiple political super spreader events in the past week including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Friday and Open Day at the Legislature on Monday.

Some of the vaccinated are symptom-free and COVID positive. I got tested before I left the capital, even thought I didn’t have symptoms. I didn’t want to be a silent spreader. I tested negative. Now I am heading back to Tucson for the weekend.

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Ducey Is Ignoring COVID Math (video)

Doug Ducey

In Governor Doug Ducey’s State of the State address on Opening Day at the Legislature, one of his big applause lines was when he said that we should “focus math, not masks.”

I think the governor should focus on math — particularly the epidemiological data that shows COVID is still a public health threat. In the past two weeks, cases nationwide are up by more than 200%. COVID deaths are up 36%. COVID is not over. Three years ago in my videos, I said we could move into a chronic COVID world if we were not careful. We are on our way there.

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#AZLeg Opening Day Super Spreader Event (video)

Arizona House Opening Day 2022

This is my first Legislative Update of 2022. usually, on opening day of the legislature, I introduced my guests. Today, my only guest was my husband Jim. I had planned to bring my oldest grandchild to the legislature today but decided it was too risky for his health. He missed Opening Day at the Legislature today because the Republicans decided to host a Super Spreader event.

This is the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple times Governor Doug Ducey’s decisions have resulted in Arizona being worst in the world or worst in the country for COVID-19 deaths and/or infections. Today, Arizona saw 14,000 new COVID cases. Today, Governor Ducey, Speaker Bowers, President Fann, all republican legislators and their guests and some Democratic legislators and their guests were maskless and chummy on the floor of the Arizona House which apparently no longer has HEPA filters.

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‘A View from the Left Side’: New Podcast from Rep. PPH (video)

Rep. Pam Powers Hannley

I’m not the politician who strides into the room with an entourage and takes the first opportunity to grab a mic and give a speech. I’m the politician who wanders around parties and events chitchatting incognito until somebody, like my husband, tips people off and blows my cover.

Before COVID, I heard a lot of your stories with this way.

Literally everywhere I go–even to Jim’s recent Rincon Rangers High School Reunion–people tell me how much they appreciate getting an insider’s view of the Arizona Legislature through my video updates and blog posts.

Although this blog has been quiet since the end of a grueling, six-month Legislative session, I have been busy in the background.* Given the dismal state of our state government and the struggles to make progressive change in the Congress, I decided to up my communication game and start a weekly podcast.  Each episode of A View from the Left Side focuses on a specific topic and includes a commentary to set the stage, followed by guest interviews. My podcast is available in podcast format through several services like Spotify, Stitcher Radio, I Heart Radio and others. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel and get the podcast, along with my other updates.

A View from the Left Side began with a soft opening on August 20 with Episode 1: The State of Politics in Arizona. There is obviously a lot of material for a political podcast in Arizona. 

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Podcast: COVID19 in Arizona: Where Are We Now? 18 Months Later (video)

Rep. PPH's Podcast

Eighteen months ago the Arizona Legislature shut down due to the COVID19 pandemic and the governor’s shelter in place order. Arizonans have traveled a rocky road since then.

Throughout most of the pandemic, Arizona’s government has been willing to sacrifice lives in order to hew faithfully to the right’s anti-science ideology, which dovetails neatly with the “open for business” mantra. Pressure from the Chamber of Commerce, COVID deniers, and the Trump administration caused Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to jump the gun more than once and open the state up for business too soon. In the summer of 2020, Arizona was worst in the world for COVID19.

My guests today are Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association and former director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, and Rep. Melody Hernandez, who is paramedic. Humble provides a brief overview of where Arizona has been and where we are now with the pandemic. He breaks down the history, the science, the policies, the politics, and the personalities. In contrast, as a frontline healthcare worker throughout the pandemic, Hernandez tells stories of tragedy, death and perseverance.

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