PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is also a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, appeared to cast doubt on COVID-19 vaccines in an audio recording obtained by Arizona's Family.

"If you can get COVID after you've had the vaccine and you can still spread it, then what's the point of the vaccine," Brnovich told a packed room of Republicans last week.

Brnovich did not respond to requests to further explain what he said in the recording, but his office issued a statement.

“As General Brnovich has consistently said, the COVID-19 vaccine cannot be mandated by the government. It must be a choice and Americans deserve all information and transparency from public officials and pharmaceutical companies to make the best decision for themselves and their families," his office said in that statement.

Brnovich, who is running in a packed Republican primary for Senate nomination, has tried to lead the charge against Democratic President Joe Biden's recent vaccine mandates, but had not questioned the effectiveness of the vaccines. Local health officials called his comments irresponsible.

"He is a politician, among many, who will say or do anything to an audience to engender, to get some hand claps and what he thinks will help him politically and get a few votes," said former state health director Will Humble after listening to the recording.

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