Eyman continues criticism of COVID-19 response

Tim Eyman, the anti-tax advocate and candidate for governor, took some heat after a March 14 meeting at an Oak Harbor home that defied guidelines about the spread of coronavirus.

Eyman followed up this week with a press release in which he criticized Gov. Jay Inslee’s handling of the pandemic response and claims that Inslee’s “private sector shutdown is clearly making a bad situation exponentially worse.”

Before the Oak Harbor gathering, Eyman wrote in an email to supporters that he wanted 251 “patriots” to join him and he was bringing a six-pack of Corona. He told Oak Harbor supporters, “LET’S STICK OUR FINGER IN THE EYE OF JAY INSLEE.”

An image posted on Facebook showed Eyman and a group of about 30 people — including children and senior citizens — packed tightly for the photo.

Several media organizations wrote about the event and reported that neither Eyman nor the homeowner, Shannon Williams, returned requests for comment. Neither returned requests for comment from the Whidbey News-Times.

On Thursday, Eyman sent out a message saying that the virus has become a “do something disease” among politicians and the media. He wrote that he knows his opinion may not by popular but that “in times like these, it is critical that someone say the unpopular thing when the ‘adults in the room’ are panicking and making absurd decisions.”

“This past week, our governor, and leaders across the country and the world,” he wrote, “are panicking and instituting policies that are going to cause far greater and more widespread pain, suffering and even death by sacrificing our economy on the altar of fear.”

He questions why certain businesses are allowed to stay open under Inslee’s order but not others. He stressed the dire economic consequences of the governor’s mandates.

“As bad as the coronavirus is,” he wrote, “we cannot afford either the economic disaster that shutting down our society will be, and we especially can’t afford the devastation and potential health threat the ensuing financial crisis will be for so many of our fellow citizens.”

Meanwhile, health care providers and public health officials continue to stress the importance of social distancing and urge people to stay home.

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