It has been just over three years since the first case of COVID-19 in Arizona, and government officials’ COVID response is playing a large role in current state nominations, including the recent hearings of Dr. Theresa Cullen. Here to talk about it is Will Humble, former state health director and current executive director of Arizona Public Health Association.
Humble feels that the Senate’s rejection of Cullen’s nomination was a “big missed opportunity.” He says that there are many state officials who are frustrated at the lack of accountability in the state health department.
“Dr. Cullen, she would have been the ideal candidate to really bring accountability to the organization,” said Humble. “She insists on accountability, she’s used to having big budgets and lots of staff, and she understands public health.”
Cullen’s nomination failed largely due to Republicans, who said she lied in her testimony. Humble does not agree.
“I was there the whole four hours, Ted,” said Humble. “She was honest the entire time.”
According to Humble, Cullen did not tell a lie during her testimony; in fact, she was even self reflective. He feels that Republicans were trying to send a message by voting against her certification.
“I think there was a political test for the job, and they wanted to send a message,” said Humble. “And that’s what they did.”