OLYMPIA…Senate Republicans released the following statement after Gov. Inslee announced that he is extending the “Stay Home, Stay Health” self-quarantine policy another 30 days until May 4.
Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville:
“It’s critical to focus on saving lives during the COVID-19 crisis, but we also need to focus on how life will resume afterward. This means making reasonable decisions that will protect us from the virus. But it also means we have to be careful not to cause irreparable damage to people’s livelihoods.
“The emotional pain people are experiencing right now is not only about whether or not they will get coronavirus. It is also about whether or not they can provide for their families – now and after this is over. Some of the restrictions are inconsistent and unreasonable and should be lifted so that people who want to work, and can do so safely, are allowed to do so. Protecting people’s lives and their way of life go hand-in-hand.
“We have some really tough economic decisions ahead of us. Let’s try to head some of that off by removing some of the inconsistent restrictions, such as those against home construction. If workers who are building low-income housing and government projects can work safely, so can residential construction workers.”
Senate Republican Caucus Chair Randi Becker, R-Olympia:
“I’m glad that medical resources are being properly allocated to prioritize those who are the sickest, and I am pleased to see the governor call on manufacturers to retool and produce personal protective equipment.
“But I’m concerned that the blanket ban on elective surgery is forsaking some who truly need care. I hope we can take a more reasonable look at which procedures are not allowed right now. Think of someone who has a kidney stone. The surgery might be considered elective, but that patient is in terrible pain waiting for treatment. We need to make sure that our priorities are not having inhumane unintended consequences. Sadly, this is exactly what I fear is happening with regards to an increase in domestic violence – it is an inhumane unintended consequence of this policy for some families.”
Senate Republicans advocate for compassionate policies that address the physical, mental, social and economic health of our citizens.
- Physical. The physical well-being of our citizens is the paramount concern of government.
- Mental. Extended solitary confinement can exacerbate symptoms in those prone to behavioral health challenges. We need to pursue policies which maintain healthy physical distances while also allowing social interaction and allowable economic activity.
- Social. Extended family confinement can trigger harmful behaviors by those who are prone to domestic violence. We need to ensure that there are appropriate opportunities for families to get needed social relief from extended confinement. Priority should be placed on allowing those wage earners in the family the ability to safely work if they wish to so that economic hardship does not exacerbate any social divisions in the family.
- Economic. Work brings dignity. Providing for one’s family brings mental relief. Economic activity allows government to take care of our neighbors who cannot take care of themselves. Allowing citizens to work in a physically safe manner if they want to do so allows them to take care of themselves, their families and their neighbors.