coronavirus Photo by Alexis Egeland, Cronkite News

Gov. Doug Ducey spoke with hosts of KTAR’s Arizona’s Morning News talk show Thursday to address concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. 

Fears surrounding the virus were renewed Wednesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a confirmed case of the coronavirus in North Carolina from an unknown source. After the discovery, health officials warned that the virus would continue to spread in the U.S. The warning was disputed by President Donald Trump, who claimed without evidence that cases of the virus were on the decline.

While Ducey did not address Trump’s claims, he said during his radio interview that state health officials are prepared for the virus’ potential spread into Arizona.

“We have to be concerned, of course,” Ducey said. “We can quarantine individuals and people that won’t cooperate. Public health and public safety is the reason we have a governor and a government.”

Other than quarantine, Ducey did not mention any specifics for addressing the spread of the coronavirus or steps residents should take if they contract the virus. 

Instead, the governor reassured listeners that no state officials have expressed alarm regarding the coronavirus, and encouraged them to learn more about the state’s preparedness plan by visiting the Arizona Department of Health’s website

Information about the coronavirus, including  its background, symptoms, and how many confirmed cases there are worldwide is updated daily online by the CDC.

FBI Arrest Man Believed Responsible for ‘have been visited by your local Nazis’ Note

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrest of a man living in Queen Creek with ties to a group of violent extremists who is alleged to have intimidated individuals working and Black and Jewish news outlets. 

Johnny Roman Garza, 20, and three other men were arrested and charged in the U.S. District Court in Seattle with a conspiracy to threaten and intimidate journalists and activists, stated a DOJ press release. The arrest was a coordinated effort by the DOJ’s National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, and Houston.

“These defendants sought to spread fear and terror with threats delivered to the doorstep of those who are critical of their activities,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Brian Moran in a released statement.

Authorities believe Garza is responsible for gluing a threatening poster to the window of Arizona Jewish Life Mala Blomquist’s home. The poster had Blomquist’s name and home address on it, along with the words “you have been visited by your local Nazis” written at the bottom. 

The Phoenix FBI Joint Task Force is currently investigating the case in coordination with their FBI counterparts in Houston, Seattle, and Tampa.

Congresswoman Returns to Washington After Six Weeks Absence

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., announced plans to resume her duties in Congress this week after taking a six-week leave of absence in early January to seek treatment for alcoholism.

The 69-year-old, four-term member of Congress announced plans to seek help after she slipped and fell on her way to a meeting at the Arizona State Capitol, leaving her with a fractured spine, cracked ribs, and a deep cut on her head.

In her first public interview since the fall and subsequent leave of absence from Congress, Kirkpatrick told The Arizona Republic that she had started drinking daily about 10 years ago, and the habit progressed as the years went on. 

“It started out, maybe a glass of wine with my husband at night. And then a couple of years later, maybe two glasses. And then, you know, it progressed from there,” Kirkpatrick told reporters. “That’s the nature of the illness. It’s progressive.”

Before her fall, Kirkpatrick said she had been drinking wine with her husband at lunch, realizing afterward that she didn’t know how much she had consumed. Shortly after, Kirkpatrick went public regarding her struggle with alcoholism, and that she planned to seek treatment.

Kirkpatrick says that she has recovered from her fall, and feels ready to get back to work. As for her battle with alcoholism, Kirkpatrick said she views it as an illness that will be with her for the rest of her life.