Spokane health officer slams national response to COVID-19 pandemic

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz expressed his frustration with national leadership’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic during a press briefing Wednesday.

“It’s just been an incredible uphill challenge for us because of national direction, national leadership,” Lutz said. “We have to do this as a nation, not state by state and county by county.”

Lutz’s comments come after the United States passed a bleak milestone of 200,000 coronavirus deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, 160 people in Spokane County have died from the virus.

He said none of those people should have died, calling it a shame.

“It’s also a shame because it didn’t have to be that way, but that’s where we find ourselves right now,” Lutz said. “This is not where we wanted to find ourselves heading into flu season.”

Lutz said people keeping asking about a second wave when we have not even gotten past the first wave. He compared the pandemic to wildfires, saying “You continue to have smoldering fires that just don’t go out.”

On Wednesday, there were 123 new cases reported and one additional death. 

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