Gov. Inslee downplays lawsuits
Governor confident few state workers will reject COVID-19 vaccine
Last updated 9/23/2021 at 4:25pm
OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee during a press conference today downplayed the lawsuits filed against him for his get vaccinated or be fired policy for health care and state workers, volunteers and contractors.
At least two lawsuits have been filed in Eastern Washington by dozens of state workers – including teachers, firefighters, prison guards and state patrol troopers – over the governor’s mandate requiring those connected with schools, healthcare and state agencies to be “fully vaccinated” by Oct. 18.
“We feel that we are on vary good grounds,” he said. “We have a raging pandemic.”
Inslee acknowledged that residents have the “right to go to the judicial system,” but said he’s confident because he has not lost a single lawsuit, yet, over his pandemic orders.
In addition, Inslee said he expects public employees to blink first, and choose to get a coronavirus vaccine before quitting or being fired.
“I believe at the end of the day, people will decide to remain in public service. The vast majority of public employees will continue to work,” he said, calling it a success if workers stay on the job and get inoculated.
Statewide, protests over the mandate have erupted at schools, city halls, county courthouses and at the Capitol.
Those opposed to the mandate say the governor is violating the Separation of Powers clause of the constitution and their individual rights. They also point out that officials initially said full vaccination was a single shot, then two. Now, vaccine-makers and federal officials have ackowledged that even with two shots and a third "booster," people are still getting the coronavirus and dying.
The lawsuits are seeking an injunction to halt the governor’s order from being enforced.
Inslee blamed “misinformation” from social media for the vaccine uprising and said possibly 10% of state employees will likely walk away from their jobs in schools and other agencies under state govenrment jurisdiction.
“For those who do decide to leave public service, we have plans to be able to deal with that,” Inslee said.