Gov. Ducey hires Dr. Carmona to help with COVID vaccination effort

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Long time Tucsonan, Dr. Richard Carmona, has been hired by Gov. Doug Ducey as a COVID-19 policy advisor.

Carmona’s task will be to convince the unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

“The fact is, we’ll disagree on some things and that’s okay,” Dr. Carmona said.

Where they will disagree will be hard to find, at least in public, because Carmona has been mostly complimentary of the governor’s handling of the pandemic.

In an opinion piece submitted to the Arizona Republic on May 27, he said of the governor: “These days, if the Lockdown Left is unhappy, and the COVID-Denying Conservatives are unhappy, then you’re probably in the right spot, and he is.”

He was also quoted as saying “the state’s response to this federal health emergency has been top notch.”

And like the governor, he will likely tie that COVID-19 response to the health of the economy.

“This is about the prosperity of our economy, this is about keeping our businesses open, about filling our football stadiums, basketball seats,” he said. “We can’t afford to shut down again.”

Dr. Carmona brings with him a great deal of credibility as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States under former president George W. Bush.

According to reports, Carmona will be under contract for four months and will be paid $400 an hour for his services.

It will be difficult at best to convince the unvaccinated at this point to get a shot in the arm, but Carmona hopes to do it with persuasion because the state will allow neither mask not vaccine mandates.

“I’ve agreed to work with the governor and his team to again do all we can to inspire people to do the right thing,” he said. “Get your vaccination and adhere to the appropriate mitigation strategies.”

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