Will Humble on Health in Arizona

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Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, discussed the recent announcement by the head of the CDC, claiming that he wants the Agency to take a look at how they handled COVID information. He also discussed his stance on various Arizona propositions on the ballot and how they affect public health either directly or indirectly.

When examining what the CDC did well during the peak of COVID and what they did not, one of the main criticisms is that the guidance kept changing. However, our understanding of the pandemic kept changing, including things like how the virus spread or what interventions worked, according to Humble.

“As the science progressed, we learned more and the science changed,” Humble said.

One valid criticism, Humble said, was that some measures took too long to get out into the public. Critiques say that CDC response was confusing, slow and at times ineffective.

What is the Impact of the AZ Ballot Measures?

Proposition 209 involves predatory debt collection and can be related to public health.

“Arizona’s laws, when it comes to collecting debt from people, are pretty primitive and it’s not a level playing field,” Humble said.

This proposition does not relieve the debt, but it levels the playing field. For example, it can limit interest rates on medical debt to 3%. This supports public health because a family’s primary determinant of health status is their ability to gain support from money and income.

Proposition 310 deals with a state sales tax to help with rural EMTs.

Humble suggests voting “yes” on this proposition because it is a 0.1% sales tax that would go to the rural fire districts and help strengthen and professionalize their functions.

“You expect the paramedics who arrive at your accident to be well-trained and resourced, and I can tell you that’s not the case right now,” Humble said.

Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association

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