Lakewood mayor: ‘Science turns into political science’ with pause on rollbacks

May 6, 2021, 5:03 AM | Updated: 10:24 am
A sign in the window of a shop in Seattle reminds visitors to social distance and follow COVID-19 precautions. (MyNorthwest photo)
(MyNorthwest photo)

Governor Jay Inslee announced Tuesday that he is pausing all phase rollbacks in Washington for two weeks. Three weeks ago, Pierce County failed to meet the metrics to remain in Phase 3 and had to move back, but when King County failed to meet the same metrics, there’s now a pause. Is that fair?

Don Anderson, the mayor of Lakewood in Pierce County, sent a letter to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show.

“I think the word that immediately came to mind was incredulous when we heard the governor’s statement — everyone expected to roll back,” Anderson said. “King County is exactly the same place that Pierce County was three weeks ago with respect to … hospitalization rate, and a COVID new case rate that was essentially identical. And yet the science turns into political science.”

“We’re kind of the red-headed step child down here,” he noted about Pierce County.

Gov. Inslee wishes Pierce County couple well with wedding

While Anderson has wondered if it has anything to do with Pierce County’s voting record, he views the pause as more of a reward for King County and others than it is punitive.

“Others get more consideration when harm is going to befall them,” he said. “Those others are essentially King County and Seattle.”

“It’s more favoritism than punitive,”  he added.

In Pierce County, Anderson says businesses are hurting, and the rollbacks and changing rules only hurt them more.

“You adapt and then the rules change, you adapt and then the goal post moves again,” he said. “I think we need to get back to the ugliness of a representative democracy instead of one-person rule.”

“I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, I think we need to be careful when we’re indoors and around other people, those are good things, those are science based things,” the mayor continued. “But here, the political … nature of this ruins the credibility of public health initiatives and it’s actually harmful.”

While Anderson is frustrated by the changing rules, he does give the governor the benefit of the doubt that he wants people to be healthy. Anderson believes Inslee did at least start the restrictions with the best intentions.

“But as the old saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he said.

Read Mayor Anderson’s letter below:

On Tuesday Governor Inslee refused to follow his own arbitrary COVID-19 guidelines which would have re-imposed “Phase 2” restrictions on King, Snohomish and other counties. Three weeks earlier he had no problem restricting freedom and commerce in Pierce County when we had COVID-19 case count and hospitalization metrics which were essentially the same as those counties now report. The Governor continues to assert that his mandates are made on the basis of science. It is now abundantly clear that his science is political science. He does not dare upset his political base, so the rules for King County are different.

We should make no mistake. It is imperative that we do our part to defeat the pandemic. We all need to take advantage of the potentially lifesaving vaccine that is now available to Pierce County residents in adequate quantities and even vaccinated individuals need to act responsibly with respect to indoor activities. But while state guidelines have been re-written to allow tens of thousands of spectators to attend professional sporting events in Seattle, thousands of fragile businesses in Pierce County and in my hometown of Lakewood are being pushed over a financial cliff by an inconsistent application of rules which the state doesn’t apply to our more densely populated neighbors. If it isn’t necessary to apply those rules equally to Seattle, it shouldn’t be necessary to apply them to Puyallup, Sumner, Orting, Edgewood, Bonney Lake or DuPont.

After fourteen months of obfuscated, ever changing proclamations, it is well past time to end arbitrary “emergency” dictates that sway with the political wind and favor those who favor the ruler. Our forbearers rejected one man rule for good reason and we are now witnesses to their wisdom. We must return to the sometimes ugly transparency of representative democracy, require reasoned legislative votes on pandemic related mandates and apply any restrictions deemed absolutely necessary to all residents of the State of Washington fairly and equally under the law.

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

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

emergency powers...
Dori Monson Show

Inslee’s COVID emergency powers: ‘The inmates are running the asylum,’ says state lawmaker

Rep. Andrew Barkis points out that as a direct result of Gov. Inslee's emergency powers, 1,887 Washingtonians lost their jobs.
3 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Seattle homeowner sells rental, says he doesn’t want to ‘be a landlord here’

The owner of a West Seattle home describes why he doesn't want to be a landlord in the city and is selling his home with the tenants in it.
5 days ago
Seattle firefighters...
Dori Monson Show

Terminated Seattle firefighters turn in their boots

Seattle firefighters who lost their jobs over the COVID vaccine mandate dropped off their boots on Tuesday.
6 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer says he’ll fight AG’s misdemeanor charges

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer is charged with one count of false reporting, and one count of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.
6 days ago
scam, vaccine...
Dori Monson Show

Meet the firefighter and deckhand who won’t get vaccinated

Washington state’s COVID vaccine mandate for most government, healthcare, and education employees is set to take effect Oct. 18. Meet the state workers who are leaving their jobs.
10 days ago
JAY INSLEE, covid...
Dori Monson

Dori: Inslee planning to push COVID vax through 2024

Gov. Jay Inslee has given himself extra-constitutional "emergency" powers for 19 months. Now it looks like he is planning to extend those powers.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Lakewood mayor: ‘Science turns into political science’ with pause on rollbacks