Pullman City Councilman’s comments about COVID-19 called ‘reckless’

PULLMAN, Wash. — A member of the Pullman City Council is raising eyebrows, suggesting COVID-19 tests should stop so businesses can reopen. 

Governor Inslee says counties with fewer than 75,000 people can’t enter phase two until they go at least 21 days without any new cases. 

Pullman City Councilman Al Sorensen is getting a lot of attention over comments he made during this week’s City Council meeting. 

“In my opinion, this 3-week waiting period of no new cases makes me think maybe we shouldn’t get tested,” said Sorenson. 

Under the Governor’s guidelines, Whitman County could enter Phase 2 by May 12, unless there’s a new COVID-19 case before then. 

“If we have one new case reported tomorrow, we go back to day one,” said Sorensen. 

His suggestion to stop testing didn’t sit well with fellow City Council member Dan Record. 

“Some of the things you just said come across as a bit reckless,” said Record. “I don’t think we can sacrifice public health to put businesses forward.” 

Sorensen says he cares about people’s health and safety, but, “In my personal opinion, if you don’t feel comfortable going out in public, then stay home.” 

Sorensen did not respond to 4 News Now’s request for a comment. Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson did, saying, “The views expressed by Councilman Sorensen are his own and do not reflect that of the city.” 

However, the mayor also appeared frustrated that Pullman and Whitman County remain in Phase 1. 

“I wish we were in Phase 2 right now and I think we should be in Phase 2, considering we have had no COVID-19 cases at our hospital, we’ve had no deaths in Whitman County,” said Johnson. 

READ: Pullman City Councilman suggests people avoid COVID-19 testing to increase chance of reopening businesses

RELATED: Gov. Inslee extends Washington’s stay home order through May 31, details 4-phase reopening plan