Image courtesy Twitter. Image courtesy Twitter.

Arizona’s governor encourages the public to wear protective masks in public but is rarely seen following his own advice.

Coronavirus infections are surging in Arizona. Hospitalizations are increasing and more people are dying since the state relaxed stay-at-home orders last month — but the state’s governor has remained steadfastly against requiring masks be worn in public.

During a press briefing last Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey reaffirmed that he has no intention of requiring residents of the Grand Canyon state to wear masks in public.

In a red state with a Republican governor, the trend seems to be to follow President Donald Trump’s lead. Get the state reopened and keep the face masks in your pocket — that’s where Ducey kept his Thursday during a news conference in which he dismissed concerns that the dramatic increase in virus cases may overwhelm hospitals.

Short of a a mask mandate, Ducey was quick to encourage Arizonans to wear masks in public.

“There are some people that can’t wear masks for whatever reason, shortness of breath or they are asthmatic,” said Ducey. “But we want to do a better job from a public health communications standpoint that masks are a good thing when you can’t social distance — wear a mask, wash your hands.”

But in many cases, Ducey has opted out of following his own advice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.