The conflict is unfolding in a onetime Republican stronghold now torn in opposite directions, pulled to the left by growing numbers of young, college-educated voters and moderates in the booming Phoenix suburbs, and to the right by vocal Trump loyalists.
With virus hospitalizations climbing to about 2,000 people from about 520 in early July, many parents, teachers’ unions and public health officials said Mr. Ducey’s actions punished schools that were following scientific advice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks for all students, staff and visitors inside schools.
“It puts people’s lives at risk,” said Jann-Michael Greenburg, president of the board of the Scottsdale Unified School District, which has faced threats since passing a temporary mask mandate. “I wonder if we would have won the battle against polio if this is how our governments behaved.”