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Arizona sheriff who vowed not to enforce stay-at-home orders tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump meeting

Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb (Pinal County Sheriff's Office/TNS)

In May, Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona, made waves when he said he wouldn’t enforce Gov. Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order, in part, because he thought it was unconstitutional.

“The numbers don’t justify the actions anymore,” he said in early May. “Three hundred deaths is not a significant enough number to continue to ruin the economy.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Lamb then announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.


Lamb posted on the Pinal County Sheriff Office’s Facebook page that he had been invited on Tuesday to join President Donald Trump at the White House and was tested before the meeting as part of the protocol.

“Unfortunately, as a law enforcement official and elected leader, we do not have the luxury of staying home,” Lamb wrote. “This line of work is inherently dangerous, and that is a risk we take when we sign up for the job. Today, that risk is the COVID-19 virus.”

Lamb said he believes he came into contact with an infected person during a campaign event he held on Saturday. Lamb didn’t say if he wore a mask or practiced social distancing at the event.

“While still asymptomatic, I tested positive for the COVID-19,” Lamb wrote. “I will be self-quarantining for the next 14 days minimum. I alerted the Pinal County Public Health Dept. immediately after my positive test, and they are working to track all those I came in contact with following the Saturday event.”

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


© 2020 The Columbus Dispatch