Retired admiral brings experience, tenacity to COVID-19 fight

VIDEO: Retired vice admiral takes up role as director of Washington's Health Response to COVID-19

Vice Admiral Raquel Bono is a surgeon with decades of experience. Her last job in the military was coordinating the massive health care systems operated by the Army, Navy and Air Force.

She’s just arrived in Washington to take up her new role as director of the state’s health response to COVID-19.

“We have to bring to bear all levels of the state, from the state governor’s office to the medical associations to the different communities and public and private sectors here," she said. She will coordinate with hospitals, assisted living centers, and testing laboratories.

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“We have tremendous talent, we have tremendous expertise and we have tremendous skill. And actually, the challenge is how do you align all that and synchronize it so we’re all pulling, or if I could use a nautical term, so that we’re all rowing in the same direction,” she said.

She’ll help determine where the military field hospitals on the way to Washington will be located

“What we’re looking at is, we’re looking at an early April timeline for when we can have those all together and put up and running.”

Governor Jay. Inslee has been tenacious in seeing the protective gear front-line caregivers need.

“I’ve been talking to people with connections myself in China, looking for these supplies,” he said.

Admiral Bono is known for her tenacity, too. There’s a reason her nickname is “Rocky,” just like the fictional boxer in the movies.

“I don’t think you’d want to mess with me," she said. "Most people that have worked with me, they recognize that if Rocky is called to take care of something, I probably won’t stop until it’s taken care of.”