PASCO — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee was heckled and had to cut short his speech Tuesday on battling the coronavirus pandemic in 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 Phase 1 of the pandemic, which is largely a 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.

“We’re going to go inside,″ he said.

The Tri-Cities 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. There has also been 75 COVID-19 related deaths in Benton County and 27 in Franklin County, according to health officials.

Inslee recently ordered that residents of Washington must wear masks when in public, and that has drawn intense criticism from some people.

(10) comments


Practice what you preach Governor.



I grew up all my childhood in Tri-Cities before I moved around the country. TC has good people, but the Old Soul and New Money (i.e. Richland and West Pasco) have many members of it’s community that make up a dark shadow rife with entitlement and resentment. These are people living in constant fear that the life they’ve built for themselves is at risk for being torn down by “others”, be they minorities, liberals, lower-class citizens, etc. Having lived in Seattle too, Inslee was likely unprepared to tour eastern WA. You can’t address eastern WA when it’s scared/angry the way you address western WA. You have to be both more empathetic to their sense of individualism and tougher with hecklers - you have to respect that you need to “win” the crowd. Sad to say I think eastern WA is setting itself up for a reckonining. They’re on the train tracks playing a game of chicken with covid19 and they’re likely going to need the one thing they hate the most if they meet the business end of this virus: taxpayer-funded emergency assistance and heightened government regulation.


When you hold a press conference whith out public questions, this is the respons you will receive here. My question would be why you always point your finger at the president when in fact it is you that is in charge of this state. Wa! Wa! Where's my pacifier!! Businesses going out of business every day......


Inslee got exactly what he deserves. I pray there is more to follow. There is a pandemic going on that is murdering the American dream. You cant claim to be American if you support this disease and its bad actors feigning empathy and concern. We need to put an end to this charade..... it has gone too far. Enough is enough


Good for the Tri-Cities. sadly, the I-5 stepfords still outnumber the normal folks...

Trumpus Interruptus

Good luck getting out of Phase One now, Tri-Cities.

The misery will continue until intelligence improves.

What happened?

Stand up when you speak, your hard to hear when your on your hands and knees.

Trumpus Interruptus

and. . . the prosecution rests.

Desert Dweller

If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen!


Lolllll...Watch the Tyrant will retaliate.

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