By Luke Putvin | Lynnwood Times Staff
Today, at his May 5 press conference, Governor Jay Inslee announced the creation of three advisory groups. Each group will be focused on a specific step of recovery from COVID-19. Additionally, Inslee announced that outdoor recreation formally starts today.
The advisory groups will be made up of a diverse group of voices such as individuals from the community, government, non-profits, both sides of the Cascades and individuals of different age groups, according to Inslee. These groups will help inform decision making and will provide input to the administration.
The first is the Public Health and Health Care System Advisory Group, led by Secretary of Health John Wiesman. This group will look at broadening testing efforts, preparing for a potential second wave of COVID-19 and preparing for the distribution of vaccines when they arrive
Secondly, there will be the Safe Work and Economic Recovery Group led by Commerce Director Lisa Brown. It will focus on phased recovery plans in regards to business and worker assistance and safety for workers and customers. “We do know that things will be different as we recover from this matter,” Inslee said.
Lastly, there will be a Social Supports Group, led by Cheryl Strange of the Department of Social and Health Services. This group will focus on the need for human services such as healthcare, housing, food, shelter and others.
Governor Inslee was also asked to respond to the group of Republican lawmakers that filed a lawsuit against the extension of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.
“I think it would be a horrific surprise to the over 800 families that have lost a loved one already to this pandemic to think this is not a crisis,” Inslee said. “I believe that position is biologically ignorant and humanly heartless. It’s just ignorant because this is a very transmittable disease… we had hundreds of new cases just yesterday; it’s just a biological fact.”
“And I think it’s a bit heartless to think that some people are somehow disposable citizens, and I just think that’s wrong. We can’t have a good economy without a healthy Washington… I haven’t looked at [the lawsuit] in detail, but I’m very confident that we’re on the right track.”