Cochise County rejection of $1.9 million in COVID relief sparks protest
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Cochise County board of supervisors rejection of $1.9 million dollars in federal COVID relief funds has sparked national attention. A group gathered in Bisbee Tuesday to protest the supervisors’ decision.
Residents said the COVID relief money would have helped pay for COVID testing, contact tracing and educating the public about the safety of vaccines.
Two republican supervisors, Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd, voted against the COVID relief funds. It’s a decision that has frustrated many residents.
“We had a huge surge in Omicron around the beginning of January which is when the no vote occurred which makes it particularly painful they think the pandemic is over,” said Jennifer Druckman, who organized the protest.
Some residents agree with rejecting the money. They see it as a sort of declaration of independence from the federal government and the virus.
“We as residents of Cochise County have our god given freedoms and object to any intrusions by federal agencies,” said Cara Harris.
Supervisor Crosby proposed having Randy Miller, a former probation officer involved with the nonprofit Health and Freedom, to give his opinion alongside the county health department when discussing the pandemic.
“He was asking for us to allow the second opinion about COVID from someone that wasn’t a medical expert,” said Supervisor Ann English.
Supervisor Judd also responded to the idea.
“To limit it to one person just doesn’t make sense to me when there are so many good professional opinions out there,” she said.
Dozens of people showed opposition to Miller and the decision was ultimately voted down.
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