Analysis: Virus surge forces Arizona gov’s hand on masks

FILE - In this May 20, 2020, file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a news conference in Phoenix to give the latest updates regarding the coronavirus. While the Republican governor has never discouraged the use of masks, his full-throated endorsement of them Monday, June 29, was a big change from a largely lukewarm stance the last few months. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is imploring residents to use face masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus. While the Republican governor never discouraged the use of masks, until Monday he had never given their usage a full-throated endorsement. The change is the latest sign that Ducey, similar to some other Republican governors nationwide, is being forced to set political considerations aside amid surging cases in the Grand Canyon state. On Monday, Ducey ordered the closing of bars, nightclubs and water parks while also pushing back that start date of public schools.