OLYMPIA… Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this statement today after Gov. Jay Inslee announced all Washington counties will remain under their current economic-restart restrictions for two weeks, temporarily ending the threat of a rollback in more than a dozen counties.
“I’m very pleased Governor Inslee eventually recognized the restrictions on in-person instruction were counterproductive for Washington’s children. I hope the same thing is happening with the economic restrictions so that he can reduce the phase-to-phase whiplash and win trust among business owners. It’s helpful when the governor acknowledges – as he did again today – that the vast majority of businesses are doing a good job of following the restrictions. But it’s also fair to question whether case rates and hospitalizations are even the best metrics to use in making decisions that can destroy someone’s livelihood. Hospital capacity and mortality rates would seem to be more significant.
“Other states that have opened up fully, or will in the next two weeks, have vaccination rates that are similar to our own. In Washington, 33.7 percent of Washingtonians are fully vaccinated and 47.7 percent have had one shot. Governor Inslee seemed to focus more today on increasing access to vaccinations, and considering how many people want the shot, that’s a better path than punishing employers and others who are complying with the rules. I would also encourage the governor to avoid segregating people based on vaccination status. People come to their decision on vaccinations based on a variety of personal reasons.”