Sheriff Who Said Lockdown Was Unconstitutional Has Virus

'This line of work is inherently dangerous,' says Mark Lamb, sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2020 2:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – An Arizona sheriff who disagreed with his governor's stay-at-home order amid the pandemic and said he wouldn't enforce it now has COVID-19 himself. Mark Lamb, the sheriff for Pinal County, made his announcement Wednesday, per the Arizona Republic. "Unfortunately, as a law enforcement official and elected leader, we do not have the luxury of staying home," Lamb wrote on Facebook. "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 adds he believes he was infected at a campaign rally he held Saturday and that he found out he'd been infected with the virus on Tuesday, when he showed up at the White House for a meeting with President Trump.

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Although he hadn't been feeling sick, Lamb was screened for the virus before that meeting, as is protocol. Why Lamb's case is attracting particular attention: Early last month, he said that while he would talk to residents who were out and about despite Gov. Doug Ducey's lockdown mandate, he wouldn't arrest anyone, because he found that to be unconstitutional, per the Arizona Republic. He also said he didn't feel restrictions were necessary anymore, as Arizona only had 300 or so deaths at the time; now the state is the newest virus hot spot, with more than 1,200 deaths as of Thursday. Lamb says he immediately contacted Pinal County's health agency upon finding out he had the virus and intends to self-quarantine for 14 days. ABC15 reports the county's health department is trying to track down anyone Lamb has been with. (Read more Arizona stories.)

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