In an interview at the beginning of the week, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told the media that the federal government is now satisfied that the nation’s testing capabilities have reached such a level that any state can safely move into Phase I of the Opening Up America Again Plan. And that includes Washington State.

At the time of this writing, Washington is still subject to Governor Inslee’s Stay-at-Home order through next week (May 4), and the Governor says he plans to extend it again.

But it isn’t just the Trump Administration that is pushing to re-open the economy; medical professionals and academics are as well.

Following the release of Stanford’s COVID-19 response study last week, Stanford Medical Center’s Neuroradiology chief Dr. Scott Atlas said that stay-at-home orders “no longer make sense” and that it is, indeed, safe to begin reopening the U.S. economy.

A renowned Swedish epidemiologist is criticizing the report that triggered world lockdowns, calling the author “arrogant,” and questioning the entire concept of quarantining healthy people.

These developments are simultaneously great news and startling reminders that we are never too far removed from partisan politics.

Rather than work together in federal, state, and local partnership, it appears that some leftist officials are bent on using the economic recovery of America as an opportunity to simply oppose the president’s recommendations – a development that will almost certainly cause damage to our already-fractured nation. This isn’t the time for choosing sides. It’s time to listen to our medical professionals and our economists, and start moving towards economic recovery.

History will likely tell whether early knee-jerk reactions that followed the explosion of COVID-19 cases in Washington State were warranted, given the unknown facets of the illness and the quick expansion of cases. Perhaps Washington’s early and decisive movements towards social distancing kept the Evergreen State from realizing a much worse infection rate. We can and should assess that later, but with the major threat now past us, it’s time to move forward.

With our state tied to California, Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado in a COVID-19 pact, any early movements we might be inclined to make as an autonomous state are likely to be scrutinized by our west coast peers. Regardless, it is time to move swiftly towards relaunching Washington State’s economy.

On a positive note, despite the uncertainty surrounding our nation’s economic rebirth, religious liberty has been picking up some big, precedent-setting wins in courtrooms across the country.

As leftist and pagan leaders at all levels of government have sought to block people of faith from worshipping in any capacity, courts have rebuked them, seemingly in concert with the position taken by the U.S. Department of Justice.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, in a recent memorandum to public officials across America, reminded them of that position – that the U.S. Constitution “is not suspended in times of crisis.”

History has shown us that Americans are normally very amenable to making sacrifices when they are in the interest of the common good. But they don’t respond well to having their rights taken from them – crisis or not.

Let’s get back on track and back to work. Click here to email Governor Inslee to share your thoughts.

Also, please make plans to attend my “Zoom in for Coffee” meeting tomorrow morning. This week, we will dedicate our discussion to R-90, with guest speaker Mindie Wirth, Chair of the Parents for Safe Schools Referendum 90 Committee. You can RSVP here.