Amid supply chain issues, winter storm Wash state refuses snowplow workers over county’s vax policy Amid supply chain issues, winter storm Wash state refuses snowplow workers over county’s vax policy

Amid supply chain issues, winter storm Wash state refuses snowplow workers over county’s vax policy

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More asininity out of the Pacific Northwest this week as The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has denied assistance in cleaning up a “freak winter storm” from one county’s employees because their local government doesn’t mandate vaccines for county employees.

Enter the law of unintended consequences.

“Washington State informed Kittitas County they could not accept this assistance due to Kittitas County not mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for County employees. The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners is extremely disappointed with the States’ position to refuse assistance,” a press release from Kittitas Co. stated Wednesday.

Over Jan. 5 and 6, heavy snowfall forced the closure of the Snoqualmie Pass for over 90 hours, causing disruptions in an already beleaguered U.S. supply chain. Kittitas County offered their assistance on Jan. 11 to help clear any state roads still under heavy blankets of snow, but the WDOT refused their help, all over a difference in COVID-19 policy.

“This county is ready, as always, to put all hands on deck to solve this problem. It’s time for logic and leadership to overcome ideology and allow skilled equipment operators working alone in their cabs to get this job done,” Kittitas County Commissioner Cory Wright said in the press release.

Last year, the Washington State government announced that all state employees must be vaccinated by mid-October. Forty-eight employees (not “workers,” as has become the new Soviet parlance of our times) lost their jobs on maintenance and snow removal teams in Kittitas Co. for refusing the vaccine.

In November, the county “signed an interlocal agreement with the Washington State Department of Transportation. WSDOT requested this agreement based on an identified need for additional resources caused by reduced staffing,” a joint statement from the county commissioners read. But WSDOT instead elected to use a private contractor to help with road clearance.

“On Tuesday Jan. 11, Kittitas County Public Works reached out about clearing State Route 903 near the small town of Ronald in unincorporated Kittitas County. County crews informed WSDOT they could not meet the vaccination declaration required of all interlocal agreements and contracts with Washington state agencies,” WSDOT said in a statement posted to its Twitter account Wednesday evening.

A liaison for Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s office told Fox News that the county’s press release “omits a lot of necessary context.”

“By the time the county reached out, the specific highway they were inquiring about was already open. Their inquiry was about widening the clearing that had already been done.” The spokesperson said, adding that Snoqualmie Pass had already been opened by the time Kittitas County offered to help with snow removal efforts.

“Public safety was never put at risk, and it wasn’t plowed sooner because we weren’t going to put workers in unsafe weather conditions either. The state ultimately contracted with an employer who can guarantee a vaccinated workforce, which helps protect communities from a deadly disease,” the representative said.

A situation not unlike Washington State’s unfolded in Virginia during the first week of January when a massive snowstorm trapped thousands of drivers on I-95, the major arterial highway that stretches from Florida to Maine.

Some were stuck in their cars for as long as 27 hours, and the perennially clueless segment of the populace was quick to blame Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin for the potentially life-threatening debacle, though he will not be sworn into office until Jan. 15, and Democrat Ralph Northam was their governor at the time (and is for one more day.)

That didn’t stop the rabble from being roused, however, and Twitter was perfectly fine with their particular brand of misinformation.

This one is particularly rich:

Not to be outdone, Vice President Kamala Harris, who excels at exhibiting bad timing, posted a tweet lauding the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on the very same day as thousands found themselves in an increasingly perilous situation.


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