Author: Ian Smay

Published: 3:02 PM PDT April 24, 2019

Updated: 4:30 PM PDT April 24, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Senator Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) shared a photo of her standing next to about 1,700 decks of playing cards on Tuesday after comments she made about nurses at small hospitals went viral last week.

“I like poker as much as anyone, but I think I’m pretty well stocked up right now. One thing’s for sure, it’s a good time to be in the playing card business,” Walsh said in the statement.

Walsh said she would donate the cards to nursing homes and veterans' and senior centers.

The release, which estimates the amount of decks at "about 1,700," comes after Walsh apologized for comments she made on the Senate floor last week.

Walsh said that nurses in hospitals with low numbers of patients likely have a lot of time to play cards during their shifts.

"I would submit to you that those [small hospital] nurses probably do get breaks," Walsh said on the Senate floor. "They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day."

Walsh apologized for the comments, saying that she was tired and that her comments were taken out of context. She also agreed to shadow a nurse for a day after an online petition received hundreds of thousands of signatures.

The petition had over 747,760 signatures as of Wednesday at 3 p.m.