‘We can’t have unvaccinated people injuring their fellow citizens’: Inslee blames the unvaccinated for rise in cases

OLYMPIA, Wash. — “We can’t have unvaccinated people injuring their fellow citizens.” 

Governor Jay Inslee did not hold back when he called out Washingtonians refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

During a news conference Wednesday, the governor put the blame on them, saying they are the ones increasing COVID rates across the state. 

Now, Inslee is recommending everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors. Not only is he urging masks, he is making them a requirement for schools this fall. 

The Delta variant is taking hold of many states across the country, including here in Washington. Every week, state health experts are seeing the variant’s presence double, which is why a mask recommendation is in place. 

For children under 12, as well the unvaccinated, it poses an even greater risk. 

“The science shows us the mutations that have occurred in this virus are significantly more infections. That makes it very clear to us, there’s only one way out of this pandemic and that is more vaccinations,” Inslee said. 

But, not enough people are electing to get the jab. 

Vaccination rates were high from March to May in Washington, but have since dropped significantly. Spokane County still lags behind compared to other counties. As of Tuesday, nearly 55 percent of people in Spokane County 12 and older had at least one dose of the vaccine. 

“This vaccine works and frankly it’s maddening that we have a life-saving medicine that can save people’s lives, that’s free, that we still have to be in this position,” Inslee said. 

While some counties across the country are now making masks a requirement indoors, regardless of vaccination status, Inslee said he will not do that. 

“Some people got vaccinated in the hopes they’d be free from wearing a mask. We want them to essentially continue that benefit, if you will, to encourage more people to be vaccinated,” Inslee said. 

Inslee said if you do not care about your own health to get the vaccine, then you should think about the kids who cannot get vaccinated right now. That is a reason why masks will be required for students and staff this upcoming school year.

RELATED: Inslee urges Washingtonians to wear masks in indoor public spaces