To say that Washington State hasn’t suffered just as much as other states during the pandemic would of course be verifiably false. One could in fact argue that we’ve been dealing with the ramifications of the pandemic longer than any other state in the country, being the home of the first known case of COVID-19. Despite the length of our battle, we must remember the moral obligation our leaders have to their constituents. This nation is founded on the ideals of a constitutional republic; Officials are elected to represent the people according to the documented rules of the land. Governor Jay Inslee has gone far and beyond what any democratically elected leader ought to, and it’s time for him to release his emergency authority.
On the twenty-fourth of September of last year Secretary of Health, Umair Shah, issued a Statewide Proclamation reinstating masks again for all persons regardless of vaccination status. But the battle being fought last summer was quite different to the one we now face. This isn’t to say that masks work or don’t work, rather, the landscape has changed, and the people know it.
Omicron isn’t Delta.
Omicron first appeared on our radar as far back as November, and even from the very early stages we knew that it behaved rather differently than its Delta predecessor. Omicron is up to 91% less likely to cause death after infection. And even of those who get sent to the hospital after catching Omicron are 75% less likely to need intensive care when compared with Delta.(1) Recent studies have also shown that the antibodies gained through natural infection from Omicron offer ‘Robust Protection’ against COVID-19, at least as much protection as a person who is fully vaccinated with a booster (2). Washingtonians are seeing these numbers and taking Omicron for what it is; we’re doing personal risk assessment.
There are no first-class or second-class states. Just the United States.
Here in Washington State Jay Inslee imposed his second mask mandate on us in summer of last year. There’s been no end date given. 71% of peoples aged 5 and up have gotten “Fully vaccinated” in our state (3). 70% was the target last summer he was shooting for when we could all unmask and “return to normal”. We’ve gone beyond that now, and we’re still just as stuck as we were before. When asked about lifting the mandates last November, governor Inslee had this to say.
“Other states have taken other courses, I recognize that. We call those second-class states,” Inslee says. “Because Washington state is a first-class state, we’re a state that believes that we outta save lives.” – Governor Inslee COVID-19 Press Conference November 15, 2021
Before this statement about other states in the country being considered “Second-class”, Governor Inslee had this to say about saving lives.
“There is only one person in the state of Washington who has the capability to save those lives right now and it happens to be the Governor of the state of Washington.” – Governor Inslee Interview with TVW from September 29, 2021
Senate Bill 5909. More power to the people.
Senate Bill 5909 (4) aims to transfer some of the Emergency Powers that solely lie with the Governor, to the Washington State Legislature. One of the provisions of the bill would grant the legislature a say in where federal funds go in a time of emergency and would allow for a ‘Four-corners decision’ (party leaders of both the house and senate) about either terminating or renewing the State of Emergency after 90 days. A fair and balanced system that has support from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. These are our representatives that we can call any time with any concern we may have. They should have a voice when it comes to a State of Emergency that affects us all; not one man controlling everything.
Now in the age of Omicron, a variant far less likely to send people to the hospital or dead, Governor Inslee shows no sign of letting his emergency authorities let up. This country, yes the 49 other “second-class states”, was founded on the belief that power should lie with the people; not one man. All over the world we’re seeing mandates being lifted. The U.K. just lifted their mask and vaccine mandates to roaring applause, even far-left San Francisco has lifted their mask mandate. It’s time for Jay Inslee to relinquish his emergency authority while it’s still his choice to make; before congress decide to take it from him.
By Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner is a conservative living in the far-left blue state of Washington. He’s the founder of r/PNWConservatives, the largest conservative outlet for like-minded folks in the Pacific Northwest.
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Featured photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons