One of our AzPHA members, Allan N. Williams, MPH, PhD, recently retired from his role as a public health statistician at the Minnesota Department of Health and moved to AZ. He’s been helping us analyze key data in Arizona. His latest report was published this week and is entitled “COVID-19 As the Leading Cause of Death in Arizona During the Pandemic: An Evidence Review

Not surprisingly, our report found that COVID-19 has been the leading cause of death in Arizona during the pandemic. The fact that COVID deaths are currently comparable in prevalence to our two long-standing major killers – heart disease and cancer – is a sobering statistic and represents a deadly failure to control this pandemic.

Nationally, COVID-19 is the 3rd leading cause of death (behind cancer and heart disease). In states that had thoughtful governors and health directors who made evidence-based intervention decisions (e.g. statewide universal masking, enforcing mitigation measures in bars and nightclubs etc.) and who properly executed key operational priorities, COVID-19 is a distant 3rd (well behind heart disease and cancer).

To illustrate this we compare COVID-19 mortality in Arizaon to Colorado and Washington State (two Western states with similar populations). The difference between AZ, CO and WA is of course that Washington and Colorado have thoughtful governors that tried to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Ours did not.

For example, in Figure 4 in our report shows that COVID 19 as a cause of death has been a DISTANT 3rd in CO and WA (well behind heart disease and cancer). The difference of course is that they have governors that care about whether people live or die.

Please take a look at this important report. It’s evidence that documents the gravity of the mistakes that Governor Ducey and Director Christ made during the pandemic. And remember, this ‘excess mortality’ represents lives that were unnecessarily lost. It represents people that would be with their families today but for the decisions made by Governor Ducey and Director Christ.

A huge thanks to Dr. Williams for his work bringing this important information to light.