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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.”