STATEMENT: Mayor Durkan on the Trump Administration’s Response to COVID-19 in Washington State

Seattle (March 6, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today issued a statement denouncing White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow’s public recommendation that people “avoid Seattle” and President Trump’s recent comments on Governor Inslee.  

“Just yesterday, I told Vice President Pence that one of the most important things the federal government can do for Seattle is to keep our small businesses and workers at the forefront of our assistance and relief. I wholeheartedly appreciated his stated commitment in promising relief. Our residents and businesses expect local, state, and federal government agencies to work together to solve this challenging and evolving global public health crisis.  

“The City of Seattle, King County, Washington State, and public health officials are taking thoughtful and precautionary steps to stop the spread of the virus. We rely on our federal partners for the steadfast support every American deserves. This administration is name-calling and making inaccurate off-the-cuff comments – it’s simply irresponsible and has serious consequences for our residents and businesses.  

“Our response should embrace science. Actions like this have the potential to devastate our local economy, which relies in part on our tourism and hospitality industry. Instead of public health and economic support, irresponsible comments hurt our local economy, cause our businesses to shutter, and jobs to be lost. So many of these businesses are family-owned and are already skating on a thin profit margin. My office immediately called the administration, urging all parts of this administration to speak with one voice on this emerging public health emergency.  

“To our small businesses and our hospitality industry: Know that the City of Seattle stands with you and we will continue to support you during this time. As we speak, my administration is looking into every tool and resource at our disposal to help support you during this challenging time. Our small businesses are the economic workhorses of America, particularly in Seattle, where small businesses make up 95 percent of Seattle establishments and provide nearly 200,000 jobs.”