Doug Ducey faces criticism after son posts video of packed party

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey answers a question as he talks about the latest Arizona COVID-19 information during a news conference Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is facing criticism after his adult son posted video on social media from a large party at which people were packed in a room without masks.

The footage contradicts the Republican governor’s pleas with the public to take “personal responsibility” for preventing the spread of COVID-19, including mask-wearing and avoiding large indoor gatherings.

The footage was apparently posted Dec. 30 to Jack Ducey’s Instagram account, which was public at the time but is now private, according to The Arizona Republic. The younger Ducey is in his early 20s.

The footage first shows a large group dining indoors at a restaurant, then shows a packed party with dozens of maskless young adults dancing close together.

It was not clear where the party took place, or whether Ducey’s son hosted it or merely attended. The caption referenced it as a “solid birthday.”

Jack Ducey told The Republic he’d made a mistake but did not elaborate beyond noting he and his father work in different professions. A spokesman for Ducey, C.J. Karamargin, did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Accountable Arizona, a group that tried unsuccessfully to recall Ducey, posted the video on Twitter.

“If (the governor’s) own adult son isn’t following Ducey’s soft advice, how can Ducey expect Arizonans to?” the group wrote on Twitter Sunday. “We need mitigation measures with enforcement now.”

“You can’t even convince your own son to respect the virus,” the group continued, attaching photos of the governor attending a series of political events for President Donald Trump last year. “He’s just following your lead by attending maskless super spreader events.”

Amid record numbers of known COVID-19 cases and with hospitals exceeding their capacity to treat patients, Ducey and his administration urged people to keep gatherings small during the holidays to limit the spread. He said during an early December news conference that “Arizonans are smart, and given the facts of how they can protect themselves and their loved ones, by and large, they will do that.”

He has resisted pressure from Democrats and hospital officials to impose more aggressive restrictions on individual and business activity.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.