Gov. Inslee calls lawsuit against stay-at-home order heartless

May 5, 2020, 5:11 PM

stay-at-home, lawsuit...

A woman on her way to a protest in Olympia. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Gov. Inslee said he had a chance to briefly look at a lawsuit that a handful of Republican lawmakers and state residents filed against his stay-at-home order.

First phase of Gov. Inslee’s plan to reopen Washington begins Tuesday

“It would be a horrific surprise to the over 800 families that have already lost a loved one already to this pandemic to think that this is not a crisis. I believe that position is biologically ignorant and humanely heartless,” Inslee said during his Tuesday news conference. “We can’t have a good economy without a healthy Washington and the measures we have taken are designed to preserve health and life itself.”

Inslee said he vigorously disagrees with these lawmakers and residents.

First phase of Gov. Inslee’s plan to reopen Washington begins Tuesday

The plaintiffs on the filing document are Drew MacEwen, Andrew Barkis, Chris Corry, Brandon Vick, Michael McKee, Lee Pfluger, Fran Wills, and Bruce Russell.

The goal of the constraints of the stay-at-home order — voluntary and mandated — as the lawsuit reads, “was to spread the rate of infection, illness, and death out over time.”

“In other words, with a limited stock of hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators, and knowing that more people would need them than was available, the only course of action was to take drastic steps to ensure the need was spread over time, instead of everyone needing the same beds at the same time.”

“Over the weeks since the state has imposed limits on its citizens’ Constitutional rights, more and more data have emerged regarding COVID-19. It has been almost unabated good news,” the lawsuit reads.

The plaintiffs say far fewer infected people have needed medical intervention than expected, the rate of spread has slowed with social distancing measures in place, ventilators were available in a surplus, the Army field hospital never saw patients, and testing around the world has helped to develop treatments.

The document continues to list “more good news” for Washington state, citing data points over the course of the coronavirus outbreak and response.

“Unfortunately, the Governor insists that he, and he alone, can determine whether an emergency exists. He claims that it’s an emergency if he says it’s an emergency, and that no one — not the legislature, and not the courts — can gainsay him. He claims that the emergency can continue as long as he thinks it continues, and no one but he can say otherwise.”

“The Governor has assumed the sole power to determine whether a person in Washington can worship, can peaceably assemble, can work, can build needed housing, can offer living space for rent, can engage in any activity.”

New IHME model nearly doubles projected COVID-19 deaths for the US

The plaintiffs say there is “no public disorder or threat to public order” in the state of Washington, asking for judicial review of the governor’s “claim of emergency.”

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Gov. Inslee calls lawsuit against stay-at-home order heartless