At a press conference Monday announcing a revised timeline for the end of the state indoor mask mandate, Democrat Governor Jay Inslee was asked by a reporter about giving up the emergency powers he has had for almost 2 years.
Inslee responded by attacking former President Donald Trump and Republicans.
“They’ve (Republicans) always wanted to follow Donald Trump – that’s the central problem here – who first said this [COVID-19] was going to be over by Easter,” Inslee said.
“Then he told us you could take horse deworming products. And has always diminished our ability, and who refused to help the state of Washington when I asked him to help. And the Republicans in this state have followed him and continue to follow him. And continue to refuse to stand up to his coup attempt,” Inslee said.
The irony of Inslee citing a “coup attempt” as the reason he refuses to give up powers he took from an elected legislature was noticed by many.
Washington House Minority Leader JT Wilcox tweeted about Inslee, “What do you call a guy who thinks clinging to emergency powers saves democracy?”
Inslee’s statement about the Trump administration refusing to help Washington is in direct contradiction to the facts of the pandemic. In the same speech, Inslee touted the vaccines, brought into approval and production by Operation Warp Speed, a Trump administration achievement.
Inslee also appeared to forget about an Army field hospital established by the military in response to his request. Ironically the hospital did not see any patients and Inslee incentivized nursing homes and elderly care facilities with Medicaid funds to take COVID positive patients.
Inslee also appears to have forgotten his praise for former Vice President Mike Pence who flew to Washington, one of the early epicenters of the outbreak due to deaths in nursing homes, with a cargo plane filled with medical supplies.
The Governor did not provide any evidence to back up his statements.
Inslee, whose office of Labor and Industries fined businesses $9,024,747 from March 1, 2020 to Jan. 28, 2022, according to a public disclosure request, for violating his COVID mandates because they needed to provide for their families and employees, also claimed “Republicans don’t care about employees who want to wear their masks. I do, because a lot of people in this state are still going to want to protect themselves by wearing a mask.”
Inslee added that he needs to keep his powers to ensure that people can exercise their right to wear masks if they so choose and in order to continue to receive money from the federal government. “We need it to be able to keep federal funds, so we get federal assistance rather than state tax dollars.”
This despite the state being flush with cash due to federal bailouts and instead of using those funds for tax relief, Inslee and Democrats in the legislature are spending the funds on pet projects.
During the presser Inslee also compared his failed legislation to ban speech he disagrees with to Ukrainians fighting against the Russian invasion.
“Now, if folks wonder why I’m so passionate about this, I think one of the reasons is because our democracy has been under attack right here in our home country as well. Our democracy was attacked on January 6. Our democracy is still under attack by those who continue to allege lies about our election results. And the people of the Ukraine were denied at one point assistance because of the defeated president that led to his first impeachment. So, I guess what I… what I’m saying is, I respect what the people of the Ukraine are doing on behalf of democracy because we’re fighting for it to here in the state of Washington.”
As of Monday, Inslee has had emergency powers for 730 days.