Jay Inslee accuses Trump of stoking violence and 'fomenting domestic rebellion'

'The president’s statements this morning encourage illegal and dangerous acts. He is putting millions of people in danger of contracting COVID-19'

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Friday 17 April 2020 22:15
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Jay Inslee, governor of Washington State, has accused President Donald Trump of "encouraging illegal and dangerous acts."

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the governor said the president's "unhinged rantings" could lead to violence and were "fomenting domestic rebellion".

He also warned that the president was putting millions at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

The governor was responding to the Mr Trump's comments earlier on Friday about "liberating" parts of the country from lockdowns put in place to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Inslee says that while on Thursday the president stood alongside White House officials and public health experts, saying that science would guide his plan for easing restrictions, with sensible guidelines to resuming economic activity, "Less than 24 hours later, the president is off the rails."

"He’s not quoting scientists and doctors but spewing dangerous, anti-democratic rhetoric."

The governor voiced his appreciation for the continued communication with the vice president, Dr Birx, Admiral Polowczyk, Admiral Giroir and others in the federal government, but pointed out that their work is being undermined by the president's irresponsible statements.

Indeed, Mr Inslee says that the president is undermining his own goal of recovery by delaying the ability of states to amend current interventions in a safe, evidence-based way.

"I hope someday we can look at today’s meltdown as something to be pitied, rather than condemned. But we don’t have that luxury today. There is too much at stake," he continued.

Instead, the governor argues, he will likely cause a spike in Covid-19 infections in places where social distancing is currently working.

An increase in infections in any location will postpone the 14 days of decline that Mr Trump's own guidance says is necessary before modifying any lockdown orders to reopen businesses.

The governor concluded: "I hope political leaders of all sorts will speak out firmly against the president’s calls for rebellion. Americans need to work together to protect each other. It’s the only way to slow the spread of this deadly virus and get us on the road to recovery."

On Friday afternoon there were just under 700,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and the death toll was approaching 37,000 people.

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