Coronavirus: Sheriff in county where first US Covid-19 case was reported refuses to implement stay-at-home order

‘Preventing business owners to operate their businesses and provide for their families intrudes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’

Louise Hall
Thursday 23 April 2020 01:36
Hundreds protest against stay-at-home order in North Carolina

The sheriff of a Washington county, where the first case of coronavirus was reported in the US, has reportedly announced that he refuses to implement stay-at-home orders set out by the governor.

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney seemingly took to Facebook on Tuesday to condemn the stay-at-home order in response to governor Jay Inslee’s update about the state’s lockdown and outlined a plan for re-opening the economy.

“He has no plan. He has no details. This simply is not good enough in times when we have taken such drastic measures as the suspension of constitutional rights,” Mr Fortney began in a lengthy post on what appeared to be the sheriff''s public account.

The post explained how he thinks the government should be taking an “all or nothing” approach to shutting down the state’s economy.

“Maybe it’s time for a balanced and reasonable approach to safely get our economy moving again and allowing small businesses to once again provide an income for their families and save their businesses,” the post read.

“If we are going to allow government contractors and pot shops to continue to make a living for their families, then it is time to open up this freedom for other small business owners who are comfortable operating in the current climate.”

In defiance of the governor the sheriff appeared to outline how he was not willing to lawfully implement the stay-at-home order within the county.

“As I have previously stated, I have not carried out any enforcement for the current a stay-at-home order.

“I believe that preventing business owners to operate their businesses and provide for their families intrudes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the post said.

The post claimed that the sheriff had written most of it about two weeks ago but decided to abstain from posting then due to “respect for the Governor” and “misguided hope”.

Sonohomish County was the first in America to report a coronavirus case when a man tested positive on 20 January.

There are now more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the county according to statistics from the Snohomish Health District.

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