Padden calls Inslee’s extension of COVID-19 restrictions ‘callous’ and not based on science

It’ll soon be a new year, but it is more of the same from Gov. Jay Inslee, says Sen. Mike Padden in response to the governor’s extension of devastating restrictions on gyms and restaurants, including a continuation of the order banning dine-in service.

“The governor has repeatedly claimed that he is following the science in making decisions about how to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but this decision flies in the face of science, as there is no evidence that restaurants are a significant source of transmissions,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley.

Since the pandemic began, Padden, along with other lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, have pleaded with the governor to listen to the people and their elected officials, who have called for common-sense measures to both protect the health and economic livelihood of struggling Washingtonians.

“Governor Inslee’s arbitrary, unilateral decision to extend these harsh restrictions will continue to punish small businesses that have already gone above and beyond to comply with recommended safety measures,” said Padden. “His callous move shows very little concern for our business owners or their employees who have gone without paychecks due to the governor’s shutdown orders.

“As we have always acknowledged, the people of this state are concerned about the safety of our communities and issues of hospital capacity; no one wants to see in Washington scenes similar to those playing out in California right now. Washingtonians want us to take the pandemic seriously, but they also want us to consider the economic, emotional and psychological pain that Inslee’s orders have created.”

Padden points out that many restaurants and gyms that are barely hanging on may not survive long into the new year with this latest blow.

“Restaurants represent about 1 percent of all COVID transmissions, and by the governor’s own admission, most restaurant owners are already doing all they can to operate safely,” said Padden. “So why are they constantly being targeted for this unfair treatment?”