'Get out of your basement, Joe': Gov. Ducey, Joe Biden feud over state of coronavirus in Arizona

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey took to Twitter after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spoke out against him and President Trump, criticizing how the state has handled the pandemic.

"Gov. Ducey is rushing reopening without adequate testing and contact tracing," Biden tweeted on Aug. 7. "He’s withholding support for increased testing and making local leaders plead for it."

Biden's statement comes after Ducey and Trump met on Aug. 5. The president praised Arizona for handling the "embers" of COVID-19, recognizing state officials' efforts in encouraging wearing face masks and discouraging indoor dining and visiting bars.

Arizona lauded by Trump as success of coronavirus ‘embers’ strategy

President Donald Trump is set to host Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey at the White House on August 5, as he points to the state as a model for the nation for addressing “embers” of the coronavirus.

The former vice president criticized the lack of a statewide mask mandate in Arizona, citing an infection rate of nearly 20%, extensive delays in getting test results, and the state's high hospitalization rate - which he says is the fifth-highest in the country.

The state reported 1,406 new cases of COVID-19 and 79 additional deaths, bringing the case total to 185,053 and the death total to 4,081.

"The truth is that President Trump could have acted months ago to curb this pandemic—it's obvious he still hasn’t learned his lesson," Biden wrote. "He continues to ignore the warnings of health experts and we're all paying the price."

Governor Ducey tweeted a few hours later, providing a different set of statistics to show the state's progress in controlling the spread of the virus, claiming that Arizona has more than 300 COVID-19 testing sites, a 9% to 11% positive rate in tests, and how the virus's replication rate is .84 - the lowest in the United States.

" 'Come on man!' Get out of your basement, Joe, and get the facts on Arizona," Ducey tweeted.

As of Aug. 7, the Arizona Dept. of Health reports a 12.5% total positive test rate. The percentage represents "the number of people with a positive test result out of all people with COVID-19 testing completed in AZ," according to the DHS website.

Less people are being tested as well - during the virus's peak in early July, nearly 20,000 people were being tested daily. That number has dropped to an estimated 10,000 tests per day in the state.

The governor also suggested Biden was "rooting for the virus" for political gain.

"The last thing we need is another politician rooting for the virus because it helps them politically. We've got enough of that," Ducey wrote. "AZ has more work to do, but we are on the right track thanks to the actions and responsibility of our people."

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CVS offering free, rapid COVID-19 testing in Glendale

The testing site is located near 43rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road and is open by appointment only, beginning Friday, August 7.

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