Inslee Pushed on “Conflicting Messaging” in Press Conference
During his press conference Monday afternoon June 8, Gov. Inslee, in our opinion, was finally asked a "tough" question concerning COVID and the protesters in our state.
In the video, it's impossible to hear what media outlet the reporter was from, but he asked Inslee if his complete 100% support of the protesters/marchers was sending conflicting messaging to the citizens of Washington. On one hand the Gov. has been stressing (some say hammering) home the need to practice all the strict COVID guidelines.
Yet, these are clearly, as seen on hundreds of videos, not being practiced by thousands and thousands of protesters, whether they peaceful or rioting.
At the 20:00 minute mark of the video, which we have a link to here below, Sec. of Health John Wiesman addresses some of this, reiterating the need to practice the guidelines and the steps to take if you think you've been exposed or have symptoms. He urged any and all who've participated to take precautions etc.
Then the reporter presses Inslee on the mixed or conflicting messaging. Throughout the protest periods lately, Inslee has steadfastly shown his support for their cause and right to assemble. Then he confirmed it without question in the beginning of his presser Monday, saying "I hear you."
Inslee's response to the reporter began with "It's like life, it's complicated.." He went on to acknowledge there is a mixed or conflicting message, but then delivered the line, "thousands of people have made the decision that the virus of racism is important enough to fight back by peaceful protest."
He added that "we" (the state) strongly and emphatically urged them (protesters) to practice the COVID guidance while engaging in their activities. He then invoked the Constitution 1st Amendment about the right to address grievances with the government.
We followed up Tuesday by calling the Benton Franklin Health District, to ask if any specific COVID guidance was issued by the state, specifically aimed at protesters. We were told no new or additional information, warnings or "guidance" was sent. No public service campaign or media "blitz" to remind protesters of how to safely gather etc.
One would think that with the activities we've seen from the protesters that some sort of information would be released widespread to remind them to be COVID 'safe.'
The BFHD told us we (our counties) are "Still in Phase One," and all the associated precautions and requirements are still in place. Period. Presumably, that would include the edict that large gatherings are NOT permitted under this phase.
We have noticed, not only our station social media pages, but in general -especially Facebook- that citizens have picked up on this mixed message. They're noticing the hypocrisy between how they're being expected to behave in a certain restrictive manner, while others can engage in "non safe" COVID actions. Here's a few comments we're sharing with the names and locations omitted for privacy and safety:
"Gatherings not okay, but protesting is just fine. Hmmm, conflict. Gee, ya think?"
"then we can all gather at our local restaurants and stores and "protest"."
"My husband and I last night were just talking about having a backyard protest...with food and drinks."
"Just protest and you get whatever you want. LOL"
To see the press conference and the points brought up in our story, at 20:00 Secretary Wiesman and Inslee about conflicting messages at 26:57 mark when reporter finally asks him a 'tough' question, click on the button below.