From the moment Governor Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, was informed of the COVID-19 threat, he has acted faster than most other states and the federal government. In an interview, I asked him why did he move so fast when others didn’t?
“In January, we received a call from the (US) State Department asking for assistance with a (plane) charter departing from Wuhan with State Department officials. We are the entry point for North America from Asia. … If you are planning to evacuate US State Department officials and their families from China due to the virus, there is something you can do. We immediately created our disaster team … and started preparing at that point for some kind of epidemic or pandemic. “
The government has also instituted a testing requirement that travelers to Alaska must have tested negative for the virus at least 72 hours prior to their arrival in the state. Healthcare workers are at the airport to confirm that one has taken a test or to sell you a kit for $ 250 and request self-quarantine until the results are confirmed.
As a result, Alaska is one of eight states with the lowest number of COVID cases and deaths in the country.
I ask why other states – and the Trump administration, as the Democrats accuse – have not responded as he did. “I don’t really know the answer to this. Part of what has benefited us is that we are isolated. We have Canada as our only land neighbor. We don’t have a lot of traffic in transit. … You have to make a special effort to get here. We have the highest percentage of Native Americans, 15% of our population. And many died (in the Spanish flu of 1918) from a pandemic. We didn’t want to repeat it. “
Your thoughts on the presidential campaign? “Of course, I support the president for what he does… by bringing jobs back to the United States. I think the president was very astute as he immediately recognized that we were giving up our sovereignty to foreign actors, such as China. One example is that when this virus broke out, we had to search China for some of our personal protective equipment, potential tests, and so on. This puts you at a disadvantage. He saw it early. “
And the looting and riots in some cities? “I don’t think you will see it tolerated over the next four years if Trump is in office. People want security. They want economic security and they want security with regard to our foreign policy. We did not go to war with this president. He finished the wars. He was nominated by two people for the Nobel Peace Prize. The press doesn’t want to talk about this in general. If the question is: I think the president’s policies are good for America, I think so. I really want it. “
What would Joe Biden’s presidency and the Green New Deal do to the Alaskan economy?
“I think it would have changed dramatically for the worse. … We were bought by Russia for two reasons: one was our resources, one was our geo-political position. Oil, coal would take a hit. The gas would most likely take a hit. We are more dependent on oil than any other state. It would be devastating. “
Do you see Biden as a “Trojan horse” for socialist policies, as some Republicans accuse?
“There may be some truth in this. This is certainly the emerging wing, and in my opinion it will probably quickly become the Democratic Party, the wing of democratic socialism. I think what you would see with candidate Biden, if he won … would be the last vestige of the Democratic Party, which has changed dramatically. My parents were FDR Democrats and they wouldn’t recognize (today’s Democratic Party). “
Prediction on the race? “I am confident and I am confident that Trump will win.”
Readers can email Cal Thomas at email@example.com. Look for Cal Thomas’s new book “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins / Zondervan).