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Ducey Pushes Back On Biden's Criticism Of Bans On Mask Policies In Schools

Gov. Doug Ducey is pushing back against President Joe Biden’s threats to come after governors trying to block mask policies at K-12 public schools with his own criticism of the Biden administration.

On Wednesday, Biden said he’s directing U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to take any appropriate action, even legal measures if necessary, against governors such as Ducey. Cardona has also sent a letter to Ducey.

“The letter was weak and pathetic just like the Biden administration is weak and pathetic on the border, weak and pathetic on the collapse in Afghanistan, weak and pathetic on their COVID response, and weak and pathetic on their attack on the Phoenix Police Department and Chief Jeri Williams," said the Republican governor at his own Thursday press conference. 

More than 20 public school districts and some charters are requiring masks while a new Arizona law banning mask policies has yet to take effect. 

→  List: Arizona School Districts Requiring Masks For 2021-2022 School Year

Ducey commented on public colleges and universities in the state that are requiring masks despite an executive order and Arizona laws that are meant to restrict such policies.

"People should follow the law, and when they don’t follow and when they don’t follow the law, there’s consequences," Ducey said. 

The governor did not elaborate on what those consequences could include. Instead, he said he would "leave that to the court.”

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.