Local Government

Snohomish County Executive said he will not play Russian roulette with the lives of residents

Snohomish County, April 22, 2020 — Today Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers in a post on his Facebook page responded to County Sheriff Adam Fortney’s remarks of not enforcing the stay-at-home orders of Governor Jay Inslee. Somers emphasized the need for data-driven decision making and that anything less is a disservice to the residents of Snohomish County.

Below is his Facebook post in its entirety:

Snohomish County was literally ground zero for COVID-19 in the United States, and we acted swiftly and with unity. As a result, right now our county, our region, and our state have been a model for reducing the spread of the disease, caseloads in our hospitals, and deaths in our communities.

Together, we have saved lives, and are now positioned to responsibly and gradually re-open our economy. This is because we set aside political agendas and talking points and have worked together. This crisis has tested all of us, and it is not over yet. As leaders, we must be thoughtful, basing decisions on science and data, or else people – our friends, neighbors, and members of our families – will die.

We are all very frustrated by COVID-19 and the necessary restrictions that have been placed on all of us. We are experiencing the first pandemic in over 100 years, and there are no recent roadmaps for protecting life and safety. But make no mistake: death from COVID-19 is horrific. You suffocate to death. I don’t wish that death on anyone.

Snohomish County seems to have made it to the other side of the curve, but that is precisely because of the restrictions we have in place. We have still lost almost 100 of our fellow Snohomish County residents to the disease. We would have lost more if we hadn’t all been disciplined and stayed home.

Bringing a testing program to scale is impossible at the local or even state level. We need federal cooperation and investment to enact widespread testing that allows us to re-open with confidence and react quickly to new cases before they spark a second wave of major social and economic disruption.

This isn’t about the opinions of any single elected official. It’s about the health and safety of all the people we serve – not the few. Snohomish County will continue to make data-driven, science-based policy decisions. Anything less would be a disservice to the residents of Snohomish County and be playing Russian roulette with the lives of those we are charged to protect.

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