U.S. Treasury threatens to reclaim COVID aid from Arizona over mask mandate fight

The Biden Treasury Department threatened Friday to claw back some of Arizona's federal pandemic aid if the state fails to halt or reform school programs that flout mask requirements in schools.

The warning is part of the ongoing struggle between Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and the Biden administration over how the $4.2 billion in COVID-19 aid money that was awarded to the state should be used.

In October, Arizona was penalized for the first time by Treasury over its uses of the funds. Ducey, however, declined to make any changes to the way the money was being spent.

In 2021, Ducey announced the introduction of two new education programs costing $173 million in total that would help students and families avoid attending schools with mask mandates in place.
Mask on the back of a girl's chair by Kelly Sikkema is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com