Submitted by Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson.
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.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.