Urgent call to action: State’s single-test plan is ‘lunacy’

An open letter to Mayor Kawakami.

Back in June of this year, I, as a Ph.D. virologist, medical doctors and other community leaders came together to help provide state and local leadership valuable discussion points on increased testing and travel-quarantine procedures.

This group, the 2020 Kaua‘i COVID-19 Discussion Group, was fortunate to have discussions with you directly. I was incredibly encouraged as you actively sought to implement additional testing of incoming travelers to Hawai‘i. (https://www.thegardenisland.com/2020/10/01/hawaii-news/kawakami-asks-ige-to-approve-post-travel-program/)

As we moved forward with discussions around the importance of testing and quarantining, I was subsequently dismayed as Gov. Ige refused to allow any additional testing of incoming travelers to Hawai‘i. (https://www.kitv.com/story/42724183/gov-ige-shuts-down-kauai-mayors-proposal-for-posttravel-testing)

As we watch with disbelief the events that are unfolding with SARS-CoV-2 infections sweeping through the highest levels of our nation’s capital, we are witnessing in real time the effects of inadequate and inappropriate testing for the virus, the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, and all of the combined and concerted efforts that it will take to intervene with the spread of the virus. Currently, over seven million Americans have become infected with SARS-CoV-2, and over 200,000 have tragically lost their lives.

After almost a year into this pandemic, it is unfathomable that we still find ourselves in a position where state leadership is arguing the merits of increased testing, despite witnessing devastation this virus brings to our local population. From the Big Island veteran’s home to spread in some of O‘ahu’s most vulnerable communities, we do not need to be in New York or Seattle to see how this virus can ravage communities.

We have been exceptionally lucky here on Kaua‘i, having only a small number of active SARS-CoV-2 infections. This is in part due to your early and strong leadership by implementing curfews and limiting travel to Kaua‘i to essential needs only. In the past several months, we had a golden opportunity during our island shutdown to develop a concerted and robust plan to help re-open our islands to travel so desperately needed for our economy. Part of any re-opening plan must include high frequency and continuous SARS-CoV-2 testing for incoming travelers.

The governor’s plan for single testing 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Hawai‘i, without further testing or quarantining, for a lack of a better word, is lunacy. It is my opinion that not considering adding additional testing as a part of any re-opening plan is reckless, especially in light of the overwhelming data we now have about the virus, it’s incubation time, spread and ability to persist in people without symptoms. While it has been spelled out numerous times in the press, numerous Zoom calls, and even with discussions with you, the problems with the governor’s single-testing proposal have been described ad nauseum. Simply: it won’t work to keep us safe.

But don’t take my word for it. Here is what Dr. Anthony Fauci (America’s premier physician/scientist) said to Lt. Gov. Josh Green on a recent COVID-19 Talk Story:(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Gg0DnXjJ34)

“If you just do a test 72 hours earlier, and that’s all you do, that’s not going to be enough.”

Abandoned by our state leadership, it is clear that it is up to us to keep ourselves safe from the incoming wave of travelers coming to Hawai‘i (still slated for Oct. 15). It is also clear that we will be relying on our county leadership to augment the paltry testing and quarantine requirements put forward by the state.

Given your continued stated desire to put the safety of your communities here on Kaua‘i as a priority, it is my sincerest hope that you will be receptive to considering the following actions:

• Similar to Mayor Harry Kim of the Big Island, I urge you to exclude Kaua‘i from participating in the governor’s pre-travel testing program;

• Additionally, until a second follow-up testing regimen can be developed, vetted and implemented to potentially help reduce quarantine duration, please retain the current quarantine practice for incoming travelers (both visitors and residents);

• Implement a community-based testing program that is cost-effective and provides early warning of community spread. (https://www.statnews.com/2020/05/28/wastewater-testing-gains-support-as-covid19-early-warning/) . This has been implemented with success in other areas of the country, and around the world. (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41587-020-0690-1) At the very least, this type of testing could easily be implemented if a quarantine hotel scenario is still an option.

Ultimately, I am asking that you reject considering any government policies that places economic benefit over our community health. As we have seen played out countless times in many communities on the mainland with this virus, the path of focusing only on economic recovery is unsustainable in the long-term, but is also self-destructive and invariably leads to further suffering and loss of life.

Mayor, none of the choices in front of you are easy, and there is pain and discomfort with whatever path is ultimately chosen. It is my sincerest hope that you can recognize that keeping Kaua‘i safe will ultimately be the best solution for our overall economic recovery.

•••

John P. Alderete is a resident of Kapa‘a.

12 Comments
  1. John P. Alderete October 11, 2020 3:55 am Reply

    Wait. Wait, wait, wait…. I am wrong. I may be a doctor and claim that my focus is virology. I am completely disconnected from the world and by the way DONT HAVE ANY UNDERSTAND OF HOW ECONOMIES work. I’m a doctor. What do I know about economic sustainability. Mayor don’t listen to me, it why you only met with me once.


    1. John P Alderete October 12, 2020 4:32 pm Reply

      This is a fraudulent post using my name. To whomever posted this, I also have an MBA.


  2. Kauaidoug October 11, 2020 9:06 am Reply

    Good letter.
    Pardon my French but one test system is half assed and is guaranteed to get us into a White House situation. That situation can only be described as it was bound to happen or a matter of time. If we don’t do something about one test it is bound to happen.

    A shut down after a false start would be catastrophic. Hopes dashed and dreams(our dreams) ruined and deposits returned. No mulligans!


  3. Paulo October 11, 2020 9:06 am Reply

    Right on John P. Alderete. You laid it out. Doing anything less is to disregard our health and lives over economic concerns.


  4. Donna Carsten October 11, 2020 9:09 am Reply

    Mayor Kawakami, I agree with everything in this opinion piece, as I have told you in several previous letters.

    A single test is irresponsible and unconscionable. The Governor and Lt. Governor are obviously placing the economy before the safety of Kauai’s citizens.


  5. Elizabeth Scheibe October 11, 2020 9:31 am Reply

    This man says it all.
    Its lunacy.
    Thankyou for posting.
    If the leaders aren’t hearing this then we’re in big trouble

    that’s all I’m going to say
    If we’re going to be hit like this then
    please everybody just do exactly what you’re supposed to do keep the masks on anywhere you go..

    keep your distance and wash your hands
    All the time, everwhere.
    Ive been over there cating for my mom when it hit.
    Its NO JOKE


  6. Choice October 11, 2020 10:57 am Reply

    Let me Say it again,

    Choices to choose from.

    Economic Survival or Survival for High Risk Patients.

    Flu for the Healthy is NO RISK, Flu for the High Risk can be Death.

    Healthy have None or Mild Symptoms.

    Who are the at High Risk? Predominantly those who are elderly with End of Life Pre-Existing Conditions (diseases), and taking Toxic and Lethal End of Life Prescription Drugs for those diseases/

    We also know that, and we cannot ignore, that as many as 98% of the people who get the Covid19 virus have either NO Symptoms, or Mild Symptoms.

    Recently we know that President Trump and Mrs. Trump and some White House officials got the virus with either No Symptoms or Mild Symptoms, and only President Trump was hospitalized for a few days, not out of necessity but as a precaution since he is the President.

    40% of us are unemployed or our businesses closed, ad we want the economy of Hawaii to open, we also want safety for all, and so the following is the most beneficial we’ve heard so far to protect the few who may die, and bring back a safe economy so people can feed their families.

    It seems 60% who are employed or living on fixed income without need of working are for super virus safety and forget the ongoing worsening economic disaster. Out of (media) Fear they want to Keep visitors away from Hawaii. Yet many of them have End of Life Pre-Existing Disease Conditions taking End of Life Toxic and Lethal Prescription Drugs.

    Up to 80% of Americans take daily prescription drugs,4.4 Billion prescriptions a year.

    Over $4 Trillion drug prescriptions issued every year.

    The vast majority of us wear masks, distance 6’, and wash their hands frequently, but not as well as necessary, since positive cases keep increasing, so we know those measures do not work. And with the microscopic virus smaller than a dust particle with little umbrellas sticking out all ove its surface, it’s no wonder with the Tradewinds or Kona winds that the virus can spread island wide on our winds, even virus escaping the mask join the Covid19 Air Force.

    The CDC states

    Adults with the following Pre-Existing Conditions are at increased risk of severe illness (yet 98% do not get severe symptoms) from the virus that causes COVID-19:

    1. Cancer
    2. Heart, Stroke, and Coronary artery diseases.
    3. Lung diseases.
    4. Kidney diseases.
    5. Immune System weakened.
    6. Obesity
    7. Diabetes Type I and II
    8. Smoking
    9. Asthma
    10. High Blood Pressure.
    11. Liver Diseases
    12. Alzheimers, Dementia

    Most of these are caused by processed Non-Nutrient foods containing additives like chemicals and petrochemicals, artificial colors, flavors, aromas, synthetic vitamins, preservatives, hormones, Agricultural chemicals, and sugars are in almost every bite of food eaten, animal fat/lard; and prescription drugs themselves are the direct cause of some of the organ diseases listed above.

    Emphasis must be plaid on Fast/Junk and sugar foods, and one cannot expect to be healthy eating burgers, fries, and sodas, etc.

    Not only do these foods feed disease but their ingredients burden the body’s immune system.

    Remember immune systems have been around for 550 Million years defending animal and recently human bodies from disease, if the body does not need or is threatened by what you eat, that so-called for you are eating must be eliminated or stored out of the way in your arteries and fat zones, etc.

    Most foods and all petrochemicals have only been around for less than 100 years and so the human body has not yet adapted to, and may never be able to the junk people eat, and the corporations manufacture knowing full well that the chemicals you eat will lead to disease and you will be given more chemicals in your prescription drugs. And when you are dead they will enbalm you, that is try to preserve you with more chemicals, even though they have been trying to kill you with chemicals your entire life.

    What a vicious circle: End Of Life Chemicals in your food, in your over the counter medications, in your prescription drugs, and in your dead stinking body.

    So let’s get down to some hard facts and figures.

    If 98% of the people (they’re Healthy) have No Symptoms or only mild symptoms, well we do not need to protect them. What? You never had the flu before?

    And out of the people who die “With” covid19 virus, 94% have pre-existing End of Life disease conditions, and are taking End of Life Prescription Drugs. And in fact of nor more saying they died from Covid19 virus, they now call it that they died with a Covid19 RELATED condition. And therefore not the Covid19 cause at all.

    Of the 6% who died directly from the Covid19, in Hawaii, out of the current deaths only related to, but not directly caused by Covid19, only 12 of the 190 deaths are directly attributed to the Covid19 virus.

    That means that in the last 7 months since March 2020, less than only 2 people (1.7 actually) have died per month from Covid19 virus, out of 1,500,000 residents in Hawaii.

    Repeat: 2 per month out of 1 1/2 million people.

    More people die per month from each of the following: cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, auto/pedestrian accidents, cancer, heart, stroke, diabetes, prescription drugs, and most of the list above.

    And we are destroying families, education, businesses, loss of homes, rentals, mortgages, friendships, and mist pit yp with the stress of fear from Media Hype and inaccurate and misleading statistics.

    While foods, chemicals, medications and prescription drugs cause disease, the people making and selling the above are perpetuating the disease process, by prescribing more chemicals and petrochemicals to the sick, including more drugs for the side effects of the prescription drugs they are selling.

    An example of Disease Care:
    Doctor, “Mr. X, you have high blood pressure , you’ll need to take this prescription drug.”

    Patient Mr. X, “Doctor, For how long do I take it?

    Doctor, “For the rest of your life !”

    Health Care:
    Mr. X, “But doctor, I don’t want to take drugs, I want to be well and Healthy, and not be on drugs and I do not want to get the drug side effect diseases that require more prescription drugs. So how do I get wet and healthy?”

    Doctor, “We aren’t trained in that !”

    Mr. X, “I guess I’ll have to find a Health Coach, my obese friend did and dropped 50 pounds and his blood pressure is back to normal and he feels terrific.”

    So what is your choice? Get Well and Healthy, get the flu, who cares, it’s only No Symptoms or Mild.

    Forget having Fear, besides the Vaccine is a manmade laboratory disease, that does not provide immunity to the bio identical Covd19 virus.

    The bad news is that if you test Negative, you have no antibodies, and no immunity, and are Red Hot Ripe to get the virus and over the next 14 or so days you are contagious to spread the virus to others.

    If you are lucky enough to test Positive, if you get the virus at least 14 days before being tested, you now have millions of still active antibodies, all the bad or Covid19 virus in your body have been deactivated, are being excreted, and you now have immunity to any new Covid19 virus entering your body, they’ll be immediately attacked by your immune system.

    That is called immunity possibly for a lifetime, like the measles, mumps, and chicken pox.

    Stay Healthy, stay away from drugs of any kind, practice Health proactively every day. Eat only fresh live natural un-processed food. Eat no added sugar or chemicals.

    Practice the SWARE acronym every day:

    SWARE. Sun, Water, Air, Rest, Exercise.

    Be sure your nervous system is at optimal function.

    Health = Motion;
    Proof = All Dead Things Don’t Move.

    Motion: Safe sports, yoga, massage, tai chi, and so many more, they’ll keep you Healthy and allow your immune system to be not burdened, so that you easily deactivate bad viruses and bacteria that enters your body.

    OK, so what is fair to all?

    1. If we are now stifling our civil rights on the many, restrict travel, business closures, masks, etc., curfews, many more, then, we should have the social right of denial for the sick and elderly and the obese youth or elderly.

    2. Search out those people, ask or force them to come to: Health Education classes at convenient hours and locations, or by Zoom or Video, and for the obese even isolate them and feed them only live nutritious foods. Rid OBESITY like a virus, or the mongoose.

    3. Governor and Mayor Proclamations to Fast Food and Junk food restaurants and stores (ouch) let them serve only live natural food, NO fat food, grease, sugar, soda, fries; or close your doors. Junk and fast food feeds disease. Why should heathy people pay with unemployment and business closures to allow the cause of disease to prevail. Fat and obese people need healthy food education. Isn’y it about time silly cigarettes and tobacco are outlawed.

    It’s time to turn over a new leaf, Fan Shen. Allow only quality food on island. Rid obesity, those people need help or will die young, Covid or not!

    Sugar Plantations are gone, time to restrict all processed sugar from Hawaii.

    If you can’t eat food without added sugars… (there are over 60 manufactured added sugars, why, because processed sugars and chemicals are cheaper to put in the canned, packaged, bottled food, than putting in real food. Corporations save money denying you real food)…you need to taste how fabulous food from God (not Factory, chemicals, or sugar), tastes, every food a different flavor, as natural spices are different.

    Think fruits, veggie, grains, legume, seed, nuts, made into thousands and thousands of delicious recipes worldwide.


  7. kauai local October 11, 2020 12:07 pm Reply

    Amen !!


  8. Mainlander K.D. October 11, 2020 1:34 pm Reply

    We were discussing how to best inform mainlanders about Hawaii’s current situation.
    Create a form. Each person must read each sentence on the form, then initial each sentence they have read. They acknowledge:
    -Some attractions, beaches, restaurants may be closed.
    -Mask rules are in effect
    Etc.
    This form must be read and acknowledged prior to buying an airline ticket, renting a car, or booking any accommodation. People can download the form, read/initial, then send a photo back to the airline, booking company, etc. The paper form must be in hand of each traveler.
    Furthermore, during the flight, the air staff can go over the form again, and everyone initials.

    Harsh? Well, the way I look at it, this avoids nasty people bellowing that their tiki bar is closed, etc. They knew before they bought the air ticket that was a possibility.

    I wish the state the best of luck this week.


  9. Dr. Martin October 11, 2020 1:48 pm Reply

    It’s good to look at all perspectives
    https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/over-7000-scientists-doctors-call-covid-herd-immunity-end-lockdowns


  10. Michele Rundgren October 11, 2020 2:01 pm Reply

    I agree with Mr. Alderette. I have a restaurant on the north shore. My 40 employees and I would love to make money hosting our tourists BUT we value our health and our lives above profits. Please, opt out Mr. Mayor.
    Mahalo for all the hard decisions you’ve had to make for us!

    Michele R


  11. ScienceBased! October 12, 2020 7:42 pm Reply

    PLEASE GET EDUCATED! Study the data from the last 7 months! Don’t spread fear and perpetuate it!! If you are elderly and in at risk category, quarantine yourself and take precautions. All the scientific data shows the young need to get on with life, run the businesses, go back to school, etc. The collateral damage of lockdown for all is HUGE and will get bigger…and its not just economic! It’s mental health, cancer, CVD, etc. These expert doctors from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford understand…read this: https://gbdeclaration.org They are public health experts! Not local mayors or governors who are making crappy decisions that have such negative impacts for all..likely for months and years to come. PLEASE GET EDUCATED!


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