January 28, 2021 – One year from the arrival of the repatriation flight from Wuhan, China through Alaska, Governor Mike Dunleavy looks back at the shared successes and the devastating losses incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since we received the flight of U.S citizens from Wuhan on January 28, 2020, my administration has worked daily to coordinate response efforts, keep Alaskans informed, mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and most recently launch a thorough and successful vaccination plan. We bolstered our infrastructure and public health teams. We collaborated with the Trump administration to ensure we had adequate testing capabilities.
We avoided the dark future that many health experts predicted, including forecasts of 14,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths. To date, we have seen 1,200 hospitalizations and 259 Alaska resident deaths. We mourn the loss of each life, and our deepest sympathies are extended to their families and loved ones.
We have learned a lot this past year. As a result of the actions taken by Alaskans, and the emergency team in this administration, Alaska now leads the nation in vaccinations and has some of the lowest hospitalization and death rates in the country. Against all odds, Alaska is leading the way during this pandemic.
As we continue to vaccinate, we will also tackle the important work of stabilizing Alaska’s economy and building an Alaska that works for everyone. I will continue to fight for Alaskans’ PFD payments and relief for Alaska’s families. I will continue to demand that Alaskans have their say on any new tax or change to the PFD. And I will continue to fight for opportunity and prosperity for all Alaskans in every corner of our great state.