In a strongly worded letter, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Vice President Mike Pence today that the state has “nowhere near” the coronavirus testing capability needed to begin initiating pandemic recovery plans.
Inslee requested federal assistance to boost that capability through a robust national testing system.
The governor said state officials have been trying to procure the supplies for 2.5 million sample collection kits — including swabs, viral transport media and reagents. “We are nowhere near that today,” he wrote.
Charissa Fotinos, deputy chief medical officer at the Washington State Health Care Authority, told journalists during a follow-up teleconference that “we should have, by early next week, 30,000 kits that can be deployed across the state.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says state officials are making joint preparations with the Defense Department to get more hospital beds and medical supplies ready for an expected rise in coronavirus cases.
During an Olympia news briefing, Inslee said he had a “very positive discussion” with Defense Secretary Mark Esper today about a coordinated response. “I would predict that we’re going to be getting real help from the Department of Defense, and that that will be necessary,” he told reporters.
Inslee said the Pentagon’s help will include more than 1,000 hospital beds that are coming in via the National Guard. “There are thousands [of beds] that we are likely to need,” the governor said.
Over the past week, Inslee has put a wide range of emergency measures into place to slow the spread of the outbreak, including closures of sit-down restaurants, bars and schools as well as a ban on sports and entertainment events and on social gatherings of more than 50 people. What’s more, many hospitals have postponed elective procedures to preserve capacity for COVID-19 cases.
Despite all those measures, public health officials worry that a rapid rise in cases requiring hospitalization could overwhelm the state’s medical facilities. As of today, more than 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in Washington, which is nearly four times what the count was a week ago.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and other dignitaries got a helping hand from a troop of third-graders today when they cut a hand-woven cedar ribbon to mark this weekend’s opening of a spacious new home for the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.
The students from University Temple Children’s School, just across the street from the museum site on a corner of the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, represented the next generation at the ribbon-cutting ceremony — just as they did at the New Burke’s groundbreaking ceremony three years ago.
“One, two, three,” Inslee counted, and then he cut the ribbon with a giant scissors that was also held by UW President Ana Marie Cauce. The kids snipped their classroom scissors at the same time.
Jay Inslee may be out of the presidential race, but he’s not out of the minds of climate policy campaigners.
The two-term Washington state governor won high praise from his Democratic rivals as well as experts on global climate change after he acknowledged on Aug. 21 that he would not be “carrying the ball” in the presidential campaign, largely due to his failure to attract sufficient support in political polls.
One of Inslee’s problems on the campaign trail was that he didn’t have a “unique selling proposition” for his climate policy initiatives, said Aseem Prakash, founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Environmental Politics.
He said Inslee’s clarion call on climate was “pioneering” – but easily co-opted by other candidates. “So, in some sense, Jay Inslee is a victim of his own success,” Prakash said.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says the coming age of wider automation and smarter artificial intelligence will require upgrades in educational and training systems — as well as improvements in the social safety net for those who would otherwise be left behind.
LYNNWOOD, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee today laid out a down-to-earth prescription for keeping the Evergreen State competitive in the aerospace industry, which a new report says is having a steady economic impact.
A draft assessment, prepared by Seattle-based Community Attributes for the Washington Aerospace Partnership, estimates the state aerospace industry’s total impact during 2015 at $94.7 billion in revenues, which is 9.4 percent above the previous year’s figure.
Employment in aerospace and related industries was estimated at 136,100 jobs in 2015, up from 132,500 in 2012. That doesn’t include the impact of Boeing workforce reductions that were announced this year.
When indirect effects such as spending by aerospace workers are taken into account, the employment impact rises to 252,800 jobs.
The report says aerospace employees earned an average wage of $107,000, not including benefits, which is nearly twice the state’s overall average wage of $54,000.
“This report shows us why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect and grow the aerospace industry in Washington,” said John Thornquist, director of the state’s Office of Aerospace.
Even though they happened far from the Evergreen State, last year’s Pluto flyby and the rocket landings accomplished by Blue Origin and SpaceX were among the “big moments” mentioned today in Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State Address.
Hours later, President Barack Obama invoked America’s space effort as a model for innovation in his own State of the Union Address to Congress.