Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was heckled and had to cut short his speech Tuesday on battling the coronavirus pandemic at an appearance in the Tri-Cities area of Eastern Washington.
Speaking outdoors at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Inslee was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Open it up,″ one heckler shouted in an apparent reference to widespread business closures in the Tri-Cities of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick. The community is still in Stage I of the pandemic, and is largely shutdown.
The heckling continued as a masked Inslee spoke. Finally the Democratic governor, who used to represent the Tri-Cities in the U.S. House, had had enough and ended his speech and went inside.
The Tri-Cities area is one of the state’s COVID-19 hotspots. Benton and Franklin counties combined have more than 3,000 confirmed cases of the virus and detected cases are rapidly growing.
Inslee recently ordered that residents of Washington must wear masks when in public. The order has drawn intense criticism from some people. (AP)