Thousands infected, no contact tracing – and Ige calls senate visit “inappropriate”?

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UPDATE: Two days of press conferences and an announcement of further restrictions. From gathering of 10 to now, five. Ok. But nothing is being done. Today, Ige’s dog and pony show was about how they are using the convention center for contract tracing. Well, what happened to all the space they needed for the unemployment people? Ok. I guess they went away and now the stars of the show are the tracers that are not there. Bruce Anderson reported 126 contact tracers and 400 trained. So if 400 are trained, why aren’t they there? Is anyone else getting this disconnect?

Questions were asked about where is LG Josh Green? What about him saying that Park isn’t fit for the position? That ended up being a major dance around the answer. We know. He would tell the truth, albeit diplomatically. But it would not match the lies coming out of the Governor’s and Mayor’s offices. This crap is literally killing people. Two more died today (Aug. 19). -JW

In the Wall Street Journal (Monday, Aug. 17), there is a compelling article explaining how Chinese officials derailed their own CDC, failing to contain the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus that has sickened the world, because they were concerned about the poor publicity it would bring to Wuhan and to China.

Party officials tried frantically to suppress information about the mystery illness, fearing it would hurt Wuhan’s carefully crafted public image and chances for national partyrecognition. They worried about an international sports event, an upcoming political conference and the millions of Chinese that would soon be traveling for New Year’s celebrations.

Their behavior led to a world-wide pandemic that has crippled the world economy, sickened millions of people and caused untold economic damages across the globe. Nothing could have been worse.

On a smaller scale, Hawaii is experiencing the same myopic behavior by our governor with the same results, albeit on a smaller scale.

Residents of the state of Hawaii living on Oahu are, once again, pawns in the political games of muckity-mucks with their own agendas.

It’s been a few weeks since we heard Lt. Gov. Josh Green call for new leadership at the Department of Health, stating that, “This job is too great” for State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.

U.S. Rep. and former presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard called for the resignation of Park and Health Director Bruce Anderson in April. By August, she was calling on Gov. David Ige to fire the duo.

“This is your responsibility,” she told Ige. “Your Health Director is keeping hundreds of trained contact tracers ‘on the bench’ because he doesn’t think they’re needed. Meanwhile we have the highest infection rage in the nation. This is gross negligence. Anderson & Park need to go.”

When Senators made a spontaneous visit to the DOH they found five tracers with hundreds of cases they could not possibly resolve in any meaningful time frame.

Ige has defended the duo, reprimanding the senate saying their visit to DOH was “neither respectful nor appropriate.”

Instead of admitting guilt in this grizzly case, where HUNDREDS, and now THOUSANDS of residents have become infected because we have no contact tracers, the governor sought to belittle the state senate and imply that the group were wandering around randomly. Indeed, Park herself had invited them. She was their tour guide.

This failure of government is simply insane. The pair, Anderson and Park, simply lied to the public. We were told we had 100 contact tracers and hundreds more being trained. Though the 100 is not enough, clearly, it is better than five.

Finally, the truth was out. We could see exactly what is actually going on and confirm what the evidence was telling us. Of the over 500 contact tracers recommended for a population our size, we had 5.

In the video of the event, Park smugly said that she had to train people, which is what we, the public, had been told was going on all that time. She was dismissive of the senator’s questions, giving the impression she thought they were all morons.

Maybe she is a micro-manager. Maybe she has an IQ so high that everyone is an imbecile. It doesn’t matter anymore. She failed.

Anderson, by the way, is not a medical doctor. He has a Masters from Yale in public health and a Ph.D. in biomedical science from UH. This is the second time he has held this position.

They lied and now, people are paying for those lies with their lives. The entire State of Hawaii will pay for it by lost jobs, a failed economy, the renewed blow to tourism, another lockdown, schools that won’t open and the list goes on.

As we watch our hospitals filling up, medical staff becoming infected and our jails releasing criminals – we sit on the edge of a precipice that is defying gravity for the moment.

But soon, we all know, there will be a new stay-at-home order that will drive the nail into the coffins of some of our most treasured businesses and service providers. The glimmer of hope we had in May has faded into memory. Bit by bit, we are losing what we had gained.

Another hit to residents is the end of PPP, the end of the $600-up, the end of any substantial assistance from the Federal Government – and Ige’s insistence on dropping any additional Unemployment monies.

Our governor has not made any provisions for the eventual end to the moratorium on evictions either. In other states, like California, they have fashioned a payback that allows renters and mortgage holders some flexibility and time in paying back rents and mortgages, guaranteed by the state. California is going further by adding to their unemployment to make up for the Congressional failure to make a deal.

Perhaps the saddest headline is in today’s Star Advertiser – “No longer the safest place.”

That is for sure. No longer safe.

It is not just that people are not wearing masks, holding large gatherings and patronizing businesses that are open. That is surely where community spread happens. More importantly, it is that we do not have efficient contact tracing. Our testing turnaround is too long. Quarantine enforcement is poor. And most of all, we have officials in powerful positions who are lying to us who are being protected by other officials.

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