PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A high-profile Republican is renewing his call for the state GOP leader to step down after she baselessly claimed that Gov. Doug Ducey "killed people" by restricting an unproven drug to treat COVID-19. "As has been the case, with the chair, she says very crazy things on a regular occasion. I mean, this is just further evidence of that," said Sen. T.J. Shope, a Republican from Coolidge.
He was responding to an interview Republican Chairwoman Kelli Ward gave last week in which she criticized Ducey's decision to limited access to hydroxychloroquine by saying, "He killed people." We reached out to the Arizona Republican Party for comment, but we did not receive a response. But in an email to Republicans this week, Ward denied saying, in part, "I never called Gov. Doug Ducey a killer or a tyrant."
Last year, the governor limited access to hydroxychloroquine, barring pharmacists from dispensing the drug unless prescribed by a doctor. The antimalarial drug was touted as a "game-changer" by then-President Donald Trump, but has largely been proven ineffective in fighting the virus. Ward's latest comment was enough for Sen. Shope to renew his call for Ward to step down.
"I have long called for her to resign from her position. I've long called for new leadership at the state party. It's Time. It's been time. We're going to have a very difficult 2022 unless that happens," said Shope.