An open letter to the people of Washington-

These past few weeks have been difficult and emotional for people across our state. Our strength is being tested as we face the biggest public health crisis in more than a century.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the health and economic impacts caused by the spread of COVID-19, but we are inspired by the united show of resiliency and responsibility by our fellow Washingtonians. 

That resilience is seen in our state’s doctors, nurses, public health officials, first responders and scientists working around the clock to keep us safe. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the people who work in grocery stores, sanitation, truck drivers and other Washingtonians doing their best to help our state maintain access to essential goods and services.

We also grieve with the families that have lost loved ones and stand alongside Washingtonians battling this virus. 

All of us must do our part to protect the health of our neighbors, coworkers and friends. The most effective thing that can be done to avoid spreading the virus is something each of us has within our power: do not congregate, stay six feet from anyone nearby and wash our hands often. What we do in the coming days and weeks could save our lives and the lives of others. 

Following these guidelines and other local, state and federal orders is critical and will help flatten the curve of infections. 

We are strongly encouraged that from the legislative to the executive branch, there has been unity in purpose that knows no partisan bounds. We are grateful for the initiative to keep us safe taken by the governor, the Department of Health and the Emergency Management Division.

We are proud of the bipartisan steps the Legislature has taken to address this outbreak and remain ready to support this united effort in any way we can.

There is no way to overstate the health and economic challenges facing our state and our nation. The weeks and months to come will test our will, our values and our courage. 

But we can do this. 

Washingtonians are smart, kind, and tough. We will emerge from this challenge more united than ever, prepared to build an even stronger Washington. 

Standing together with every Washingtonian, 

Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane)

Speaker Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma)

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville)

House Republican Leader JT Wilcox (R-Yelm)

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