NESPELEM, Wash. - Governor Jay Inslee took on three fronts while visiting Nespelem: destructive wildfires, climate change and 'deadly' misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations.
"We've seen today, great heartache great loss, great courage all at the same time in the Colville Nation in Nespelem," Gov. Inslee said about communities ravaged by wildfires.
Inslee emphasized Washington state will do everything in its power to help communities hit by wildfires, such as repairing homes and providing firefighter air support, but he said people need to fight climate change at the core.
Inslee said the people in Colville are facing droughts, wildfires and water that is too hot for salmon to survive.
"These folks are getting hit by climate change left, right and center," Inslee said. "I get so angry when I think of the injury they are having because we have not fought climate change the way that we should."
Gov. Inslee quickly moved from one statewide enemy to the next, COVID-19.
"It's been very disturbing to me as Governor. We are fighting another foe called COVID. Unfortunately, COVID has a nefarious ally and that ally is 'misinformation,'" Inslee said.
Inslee slammed state Representative Rob Chase for sharing misinformation about vaccines on his Facebook page.
According to our news partners at The Spokesman-Review, Rep. Chase wrote several statements that have been disproven by a federal judge and health experts. Chase drew a comparison of the COVID vaccine rollout to Nazi medical experimentation. Last month, a federal judge in Texas ruled against a group of hospital employees who used the same comparison in attempts to not get vaccinated for work. The judge called the comparison "reprehensible."
"[It] could have fatal consequences if it convinces people to be afraid of getting this vaccine," Inslee said about Chase sharing misinformation. "This vaccine has been tested with hundreds of millions of people. This vaccine has been authorized. This vaccine was not started by some nefarious international plot by Bill Gates."
Gov. Inslee urges everyone to get the vaccine. He said over 99% of people in the hospital battling COVID-19 have one thing in common, they are not vaccinated.
Inslee said vaccinating the country is a bipartisan effort, mentioning Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell who implored unvaccinated Americans on Tuesday to get the shot.
"We are in a war to save people's lives," Inslee said.