OLYMPIA… A news report about threats received by the state secretary of health has Senate Republican Leader John Braun denouncing any threats against any public official.

“It’s fair to question or criticize government’s response to the pandemic. Many of us have. But it’s completely unacceptable for anyone to threaten Secretary Shah, the state Board of Health or others in our state or local public-health agencies. I realize the governor used threats and intimidation to impose his vaccine mandate on teachers and other public servants, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

“I spoke against the destructive protests of two summers ago. Seventeen months ago this week I condemned the violent actions taken against our state capitol and nation’s capitol. Violence is not the answer, no matter the reasoning. Neither are threats of violence. Republicans denounced the threat made to our state director of elections after the latest presidential election, and Senate Republicans unanimously supported the legislation proposed to discourage harassment of election officials.

“If people don’t agree with a policy, they have the power to change the policymakers. We all know how that is done. In the meantime, there’s a line between influencing and intimidating, and a reason that intimidating a public servant is against state law. I encourage people to speak out, and to hold their government accountable. However let’s do it in a way which is constructive, follows the law and recognizes the inherent dignity of people.”