MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Inslee, Idaho Gov. Brad Little clash over ‘clogging’ of Washington hospitals

Sep 22, 2021, 5:42 AM | Updated: Sep 29, 2021, 3:32 pm

Idaho...

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (left, Office of the Governor) and Idaho Gov. Brad Little (right, Getty Images).

(right, Getty Images)

With COVID-19 rates in Idaho skyrocketing and Washington hospitals beginning to feel the impact, Governor Jay Inslee issued a plea to Idaho’s Governor Brad Little to “take some common sense measures” to fight the pandemic.

Idaho’s medical crisis is ‘becoming our problem’ in Washington

Inslee’s comments came as part of a larger interview with MSNBC, where he said he was “disappointed the governor of Idaho has spent more time trying to reduce protection by reducing vaccine usage instead of concentrating on (common sense measures), and then clogging up my hospitals.”

All of Idaho recently went into crisis standards of care, a medical designation typically issued during a disaster event when there are not enough resources to care for everyone with serious medical needs.

That’s meant an additional burden on Washington, which is required by federal law to accept out-of-state hospital patient transfers if space is available. With Washington already dealing with its own issues finding room for patients needing to be transferred from its smaller hospitals to larger facilities, Idaho’s COVID crisis has quickly become a multi-state emergency.

“Washington citizens in many cases cannot get heart surgery, cannot get cancer surgery that they need, because we are having to take too many people of unvaccinated nature and unmasked, many of whom come from Idaho, and that’s just maddening, frankly,” Inslee said.

How would crisis standards of care be enacted in Washington?

Other health officials have been similarly critical, with Washington State Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer imploring Idaho to “do more.”

“They should have a mask mandate, they should be canceling large events,” Sauer said in a recent briefing. “They are not doing what they need to do to prevent the spread of the disease in their state, and it spills over into our state.”

Idaho has faced criticism for its relatively lax COVID restrictions throughout the pandemic, having opted against mask and vaccine mandates. That’s all culminated in a state with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the entire nation. Despite that, Gov. Little pointed to “hot spots for virus activity” and low vaccination rates in Spokane County in a response to Inslee issued on Monday.

Spokane County — which has been among the Eastern Washington counties receiving Idaho’s overflow hospital patients — currently has 47% of its total population fully vaccinated. Idaho’s total vaccination rate as a state is just under 41%.

MyNorthwest News

north sound house fire...

Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Man and dog perish in North Sound house fire

A North Sound neighborhood is mourning after a neighbor and his dog were killed in a house fire Friday night.

15 hours ago

mount baker shooting...

Frank Sumrall

SPD searching for suspect in Mount Baker neighborhood fatal shooting

Seattle police are investigating a deadly shooting after a victim was shot in the chest at least two times. The victim later died from the injuries in a hospital.

15 hours ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

15 hours ago

Photo: A view of Mount Rainier is photographed from an Alaska Airlines flight flying at 25,000 feet...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Mount Rainier skier found dead has been identified

On June 8, Mount Rainier Park Rangers found the body of a female skier at the base of Pebble Creek’s Moraine Falls above Paradise.

17 hours ago

yakima county fire...

Frank Sumrall

8,000-acre brush fire in Yakima County causes ‘Level 2’ evacuations

An approximate 8,000-acre wildfire broke out in Yakima County Saturday on a ridge north of Sunnyside and east of Zillah.

18 hours ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

1 day ago

Inslee, Idaho Gov. Brad Little clash over ‘clogging’ of Washington hospitals