An anniversary, an inauguration, and a faulty alarm system this week
Bill Radke reviews the week's news with Q13 reporter Jennifer Lee, Seattle Times senior investigative reporter Patrick Malone, and KUOW reporter and newscaster Paige Browning.
This week marked one year since the CDC confirmed America's first case of covid in Snohomish County. It started what will soon be a year of online schooling, of working from home, and of a pandemic that has resulted in 400,000 deaths and rising in the US. The panelists look back on what they remember about that first case.
They also looked at where we are now - on Monday Governor Inslee announced a public-private partnership with Microsoft and Starbucks to form the Washington State Vaccine Command and Coordination Center. He also announced a new goal to get 45,000 people vaccinated every day in Washington, and a move to phase 1B that means anyone over the age of 65 is now eligible for the vaccine. Is it ethical to have large private businesses assist with vaccinating people?
This week also marked the beginning of the Biden presidency. Sworn in on Wednesday, Biden emphasized themes of unity and recovery in his inaugural address. There were no reports of violent protests in DC, although in Seattle three people were arrested while protesting downtown for vandalizing several businesses. What can we expect from the new administration, and how will it effect Washington?
Plus, on Thursday hundreds of Bellevue second graders went to their first in-person classes of the school year. They join some special education students already there, kindergarten and first graders will follow next week. But, when those second graders got to class, their usual teachers weren't there to greet them. The Bellevue school district and teachers association are currently debating whether teachers should return to school now, or wait until a vaccine is available. But where does this dispute leave their students?
Finally, every Wednesday a test alarm sounds in Carnation, Washington. It's a comfort to the residents there, letting them know they'll be prepared if ever the Tolt Dam, which is located 16 miles upstream, breaks and floods the town. But last week the alarm didn't sound. And it's not the first time that's happened.