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.
Rep. Joanne Osborne’s HB2086 would block all current and future COVID19 vaccines from being required vaccines for school children statewide. Good-bye, parental control and local input. Republicans want to dictate your future. No parents testified for or against this bill in committee, but on RTS, more than 300 people signed in against.
K-12 schools require vaccines for highly contagious diseases (like measles and chicken pox) that spread like wild fire in schools. The Republicans insisted that COVID is not a childhood disease and, therefore, is ineligible to be on the required school vaccine list. They claimed that parents and children were afraid of the vaccine (not COVID), and “kids don’t get that sick from COVID” so it’s no big deal. The Republican message to the children was, “Yeah, your grandpa died of this disease, but you won’t get that sick. Trust us. Suck it up.”
When I mentioned that Arizona has one of the worst COVID death rates in the country, one of the Republicans blew me off saying, “We’re talking about the VACCINE — not about COVID.” How can the topics be separated? The unvaccinated are dying at much higher rates.
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.
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.
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.
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.