SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — A response from Spokane County firefighters to a tweet sent by Fox News personality Tomi Lahren is garnering national attention on Tuesday.
Lahren hosts a show on the digital Fox Nation site and is a contributor to the TV network. She mocked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a tweet that reads, “Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe.”
Her tweet has received tens of thousands of comments – some of them critical – including one from the union representing Spokane County Fire District 8. The district's four fire stations are located in the Moran, Valleyford, Ponderosa and Saltese areas.
“As we do one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. We’d carry a purse to [sic] if it meant keeping our community safe,” the fire district's union wrote on Twitter.
The union's response, posted just after 8:30 a.m., has already garnered tens of thousands of likes and thousands of retweets.
Later, the union briefly acknowledged the tweet and grammatical error of "to" versus "too" on its account, writing, "Regarding our last tweet about mask wear. It has come to our attention that there was a grammatical error. We sincerely apologize to all those educators out there."
KREM 2 spoke to IAFF Local 371 President and fulltime firefighter Jay Wilkins who sent out the tweet. His union represents the firefighters in District 8.
To be clear, Wilkins said he was strictly tweeting on behalf of the firefighters union, not for Fire District 8.
"This was never intended to be political, but it has gotten there," Wilkins said.
Wilkins argues tweets like Lahren's that downplay COVID-19 aren't helpful to first responders.
"What struck me is that folks who have a high degree of influence using that influence to move away from the science of the spread of COVID-19," he said. "And it's a challenge we face every day on the job. What we've found out is that when folks don't believe the science, it affects our working conditions. And it, of course, affects the community. So we feel like working together as a community is the only way to prevent or decrease the spread at least."
This is not the first time Lahren has sent a controversial tweet about a political figure. In August 2019, she wrote this about California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is now running alongside Biden for vice president: "Kamala did you fight for ideals or did you sleep your way to the top with Willie Brown."
Lahren later apologized for "a wrong choice of words."