Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee brought apples as comfort food to communities in the eastern part of the state ravaged by wildfires, but the gifts turned out to be anything but comforting. The fruit that he supposedly personally picked from an apple tree at the governor’s mansion in Olympia, Wash., was infested with apple maggot larvae.
To make matters worse, Democrat Inslee, a failed 2020 presidential candidate and an avowed environmentalist who locked down the state during the COVID pandemic, apparently committed an illegal act in the process by ironically violating a quarantine law.
“According to the state Department of Agriculture, it’s against the law to bring homegrown fruit or municipal waste from apple maggot quarantine areas to areas that are considered pest-free. The towns where he gifted apples – Bridgeport, Malden and Omak – are in counties without apple maggots. And with apple orchards and orchardists abound, that’s exactly how they’d like to remain,” Fox 13 Seattle reported.
One expert explained that that brown dimples on the fruit are telltale signs of maggot infestation.
Agriculture authorities apparently recovered, or are attempting to track down, most, of the governor’s baskets of rotten apples. One basket left at a Bridgeport church reportedly went missing, however.
“Apple Maggots are an incredibly serious pest and could have dire consequences for the orchardists of Douglas County if we are unable to find the infected apples and mitigate the effects immediately…It is of the utmost importance these apples are safely disposed of immediately,” Douglas County officials, where the city of Bridgeport is located, asserted.
On behalf of himself and his wife, Inslee released a statement about the potential environmental disaster that could have ruined the apple crop in the areas he was touring.
“Last week Trudi and I wanted to express comfort for the communities suffering from devastating fires. When I visited some of these areas, I took some apples we picked from our tree in Olympia. We regret this mistake. This is a good reminder of the importance of awareness around apple quarantine. We appreciate the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s efforts to help recover these apples and we are assisting to help make that happen.”
Inslee, a Trump foe who is running for reelection for a third term, may have lucked out, because authorities indicate that they seldom actually charge anyone with the violation of state regulations that constitutes a misdemeanor.
Residents of the agricultural community of Bridgeport had another reason to be less than impressed with the governor’s offering because the area is already loaded with apple orchards. Moreover, locals who were rendered homeless by the fires are in need of shelter and serious relief supplies rather than apples.
“A lot of people felt that as a slap in the face,” a wildfire relief organize told the local NPR station. “Him nor his office are in touch with what happens over here and who we are.”
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