It’s been regionally popular for some time, across the entire political spectrum, to generally dis outgoing King County Executive Ron Sims, but as the nation faces a potential flu pandemic, it would be a nice going away present from our media-political complex to give him a little credit where credit is due for the county’s extraordinary preparation and foresight.
Under Sims’ watch Seattle-King County has run one of the best public health agencies in the nation, putting its pandemic flu preparations in the capable hands of the widely respected Dr. Jeff Duchin. And while the rest of the nation is nervously awaiting its allotment of anti-viral drugs from federal warehouses, King County is already sitting on a stockpile of 190,000 courses of Tamiflu, making us one of the few local governments to have invested tax dollars in such precautions.
Chances are still that the Mexican swine flu outbreak will fizzle out before becoming a worldwide health crisis, and if we’re lucky, the county’s supply of Tamiflu will expire long before the next flu pandemic strikes. But it shouldn’t require a worst case scenario for the citizens of our region to thank Ron Sims for his leadership.