Not the only city leader overshadowed by statewide leadership during the pandemic, the mayor became most notable for closing parks, closing streets for pedestrians, and restricting evictions before her attention shifted to George Floyd protests.
Fresh off a failed presidential bid, the governor took the spotlight and totally rewrote his reputation by instituting statewide social distancing sooner than most states; scored cool points by forming short-lived Western States Pact.
Seattle and King County’s director of public health pushed residents toward Covid testing, but also published a guide to virus protections for anti-racism protesters, giving tacit support to the huge gatherings.
When the state received national praise for its pandemic response, King County’s health officer—who does double duty as a UW prof—got MVP status for recommending social distancing early on.
Like Duchin, the head of the state’s department of health is a graduate of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and had to keep abreast of surprising trends, like a boom in under-40 infections and a worrisome drop in childhood immunization rates.
One of the first clutch moves from the King County Executive was to contact the president of Microsoft to coordinate early work-from-home policies, which encouraged other companies to do the same long before an official stay-home order.