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Dori: With COVID-19 deaths, can we trust politicians to keep us safe?

King County Executive Dow Constantine addresses coronavirus on Saturday. (KIRO7 screengrab)

Six COVID-19 deaths and 12 other cases of coronavirus were confirmed Monday in King and Snohomish Counties.

Obviously, the disease doesn’t have a 30 percent mortality rate. Most of the deaths were in residents of the LifeCare Center in Kirkland. If you are older or have other health problems, you are far more susceptible to have serious complications from the disease.

We know that there are more than these 18 cases. King County Public Health’s Dr. Jeff Duchin said that most people infected with COVID-19 won’t even know they have it because their symptoms will be so mild.

For the people who have died and their families, that is the center of the story. For everyone else, we’re trying to figure out what it all means. For me, this story is about you and your thoughts and how you are reacting to this — and I would really like to hear from you on this.

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Do you think that this is being overblown? Are you modifying your life because of this? We had a family vacation planned for the end of April, but now we’re trying to decide if we want to go through with it. Are you changing the way you invest? Do you get nervous sending your child to school? What about mass transit? We’re in a region that is obsessed with getting us out of our cars and on to trains and buses. I’ve told you for a long time that I’m not comfortable with that — and if I had to ride the bus right now, I certainly would be nervous.

We have the makings for a toxic brew in the Puget Sound because we have a very high homeless population. None of the homeless people have been connected COVID-19 for now, but is that a population that would be absolutely rife with the potential for an outbreak? We’ve already seen that in California, where historic diseases that many thought had been eradicated have come back in homeless encampments.

We are clamping down on travel from other countries that are having outbreaks, such as China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy. People seem to think that that’s a good idea, as do I. And yet, we have a governor who still says we are a sanctuary state. That means anyone who sneaks into this country illegally is welcomed with opened arms and given all of the services our taxpayers fund.

I would love to hear from Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on this. Are you rethinking sanctuary, at least in the midst of this health crisis? We are straining so many of our tax-funded resources — half of the Eastside fire departments are quarantined because they responded to that elder care center. Is this a time when we should still be welcoming everyone who sneaks into this country into our state? They are walking into the midst of a pandemic.

As you know, I am a very data-driven person. I don’t want to overstate what this coronavirus is all about. It seems to be not much deadlier than the average flu. But, let’s look at the data there. We have flu shots, and it’s very unlikely that a huge percentage of the population will get that flu. There is no immunization for COVID-19, so there’s no way to protect yourself other than to self-isolate.

There are two other elements of this that have to be explored — politics and the media.

Last week, I talked about the senseless tweet Jay Inslee sent out.

I don’t know if I believe that Jay Inslee actually said that to the vice president. But now that we have the context of what is going on here in Washington, how stupid does Jay Inslee sound in that tweet? Since Jay Inslee sent out that tweet, there is one state in the nation that has confirmed COVID-19 deaths — six of them, in point of fact. That state is Jay Inslee’s. So if he truly had that snide response to the vice president, he looks like a fool today.

As I said last week, Inslee’s party is the party of science deniers. According to Inslee, you can change the gender of your birth 50 years later. Democrats make up the party of science denial, because their social policies mean far more to them than any truths or facts. Inslee started the entire politicization of COVID-19 with his ridiculous, petty tweet.

That does not mean these deaths are on Jay Inslee. Something horrible happened at that nursing home on the Eastside. But Inslee was trying to take credit for how our state was handling this, so he looks very bad right now. The balance of data versus politics is going to be critically important for all of us because we are all trying to figure out what adjustments we need to make in our lives. I am hopeful that we can work through all of that together.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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