‘He should listen to leaders on the ground’: McMorris Rodgers calls on Inslee to reopen Spokane County

WASHINGTON D.C. — Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers has called on Governor Jay Inslee to reopen  Spokane County.

The eastern Washington congresswoman’s comments came just a day after the state denied Spokane County leaders’ request to speed up the reopening process.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee denies Spokane County’s request to speed up opening process 

“Spokane County is united to reopen. Governor Inslee’s decision disregards local health expertise and reason. He should listen to leaders on the ground — after all that’s why counties exist,” McMorris Rodgers said. “We trust his ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order to flatten the curve in Eastern Washington. Now, it’s time for him to trust us so we can start to reverse the hardship, fear, anxiety, and loss. Let’s trust the science and work together to safely reopen Spokane.”

Local leaders, including Mayor Nadine Woodward and Spokane City Councilman Michael Cathcart, also expressed their frustration with the governor’s decision.

“Quite quick answer — the answer was not what we expected it to be,” Woodward said. “We have a good case. We presented it strongly.

Cathcart called the denial a “troubling and frustrating update.”

Smaller counties have been granted variance to progress through the state’s reopening phases faster than others. These counties — including Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille — were allowed to do so under Inslee’s Safe Start Plan.

However, the governor has maintained that Spokane County cannot speed up its reopening process due to its size. Guidance for larger counties to reopen has not been provided, but is expected early next week.

Meantime, Cathcart said local leaders have created a plan for reopening and expressed frustration over the lack of consistency and transparency from the state.

READ: Gov. Inslee signs ‘Safe Start’ plan to reopen Washington’s economy