Letters for Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Give Grassroot Institute study a closer look

Paulo Tambolo alleged in a letter to the editor on Saturday (Oct. 10) that statements by Keli’i Akina regarding the cost of the Jones Act to Hawai‘i (“Great Lockdown Crash of 2020 …,” Oct. 4) were “based on no facts whatsoever.”

Tambolo said he had visited the Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i website “to see where he (Akina) got his bloated figures,” but apparently he overlooked our groundbreaking study, “Quantifying the cost of the Jones Act to Hawai‘i.”

It was conducted for the institute by the nationally-recognized, economic-research and consulting firm John Dunham & Associates, based in New York, which considered at least five different statistical scenarios concerning the cost of the Jones Act to Hawai‘i.

Its conclusion: The protectionist federal-maritime law, which requires vessels carrying merchandise between U.S. ports to be U.S. flagged and built and mostly owned and crewed by Americans, costs Hawai‘i about $1.2 billion a year, including $1,800 per average family, and 9,100 lost jobs.

The comprehensive study showed that eliminating the Jones Act’s U.S.-build requirement alone would save Hawai‘i about $532 million a year, almost $300 per resident and about 3,860 jobs.

Apparently unaware of our study, Tambolo declared one of Akina’s comments “unconscionable,” and said, “Until we get an independent, in-depth study done on the costs and benefits of shipping, with and without the Jones Act, rhetoric is not enough reason to suggest repeal of the Jones Act ….”

Well, to be clear, Akina did not urge full repeal of the Jones Act. He recommended only removal of the U.S.-build requirement. But more important, there already has been an “independent, in-depth study done on the costs and benefits of shipping, with and without the Jones Act” — and we produced it.

I urge Tambolo to revisit our website and download a copy for himself. If at that point he still has concerns about Akina’s statements, then perhaps we could take it from there.

Mark Coleman, Communications director, Grassroot Institute of Hawai‘i

Sensationalism has no place in TGI

I am concerned with the content of The Garden Island.

There is less local news and more sensationalized headlines, and as of today the tragic photo of a man being shot in Denver.

We do not need these kinds of photos ever. It is hard to leave a paper unattended in light of young children and any sensitive person seeing this tragic, shameful event.

The population was already overwhelmed by negativity before COVID-19, and now it is a daily struggle for most of us.

If it was deemed necessary to cover the article, the photo and the size of the photo were very National Enquirer.

There are many local, national and international news stories of interest and concern to the population that carry far more educational purpose to us. There are also many uplifting, enlightening, educational stories to share.

Lighten up our lives, please.

Angela Headley, Hanapepe

Kaua‘i just not ready for COVID

In the recently-televised interview between Lt. Gov. Green and Dr. Fauci, there were four particularly important points underscored:

While mask-wearing is one of the best defenses we have, it is not safe when riding in a confined space with others also wearing masks because of the significantly-increased risk of infection when confined to an area where the air is shared for more than 15 minutes. Josh Green is himself an example of the propensity for communication of the virus in a confined area. The flights to the state will by definition have people in close confinement sharing recirculated air for 5 hours or more.

While there is a need to support our economy, we also need to recognize our culture and lifestyle in Hawai‘i, which requires greater-than-normal caution, according to Dr. Fauci, because of our multi-generational family living. See link at 10-minute mark.

It is certainly accurate that restoring tourism is an essential ingredient of restoring the economy. See link at 20-minute mark. However, will the economy be sustained when there are increased incidences of COVID and community spread particularly on the outer island which, as Dr. Green noted, have very limited medical resources.

As the outer-island mayors are suggesting, and as Dr. Fauci has confirmed, the one test prior to flight is not safe and is not effective because of the very probable contamination in the last 72 hours before flight or during flight. See link at 25-minute mark. A random sampling of 10% of the untested arriving passengers, Dr. Green’s current proposal, is nothing short of Russian Roulette. Not only will there be no such sampling for the first four days after the reopening, but the sampling plan, beginning Oct. 19, will permit undetected virus-carrying visitors to enter quarantine. This will not prevent some from needing care from our extremely-limited medical resources on Kaua‘i while potentially infecting others and causing the community spread that we have thus far been able to avoid.

We are so close to having a vaccine. Dr. Fauci confirms it is 2-2 1/2 months away. Must we be subjected to this significant risk of illness and death, without the resources to handle it, when we have worked so hard for so long at preserving the island’s health? Our tourist industry won’t be worth a tinker’s damn once COVID illness and deaths hit a poorly supported island like Kaua‘i.

Bridget Hammerquist, Koloa

Trump: Egocentric, disgraceful, dangerous

President Trump’s behavior from the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a disgrace, and his judgments concerning his personal health, the health of his family and staff and that of our nation have been wrong.

The proof: President Trump’s recent diagnosis of COVID-19 and subsequent hospitalization at Walter Reed Medical Center. If most people were presented with this scenario, a sane, logical individual would recognize the seriousness of this diagnosis and listen to the advice of his/her doctors.

To underscore the seriousness of the disease in this 74-year-old, obese male, the list of medications being used should be warning enough. In light of this, our “stable genius” president has left the Presidential Suite at Walter Reed Medical Center for no other reason than to engage in a photo-op, i.e., driving around the grounds of Walter Reed Medical Center to “wave to his fans” and to be seen waving.

How irresponsible. How stupid. Once again our president is endangering the lives of staff assigned to take care of and guard him. Prior to this hospitalization, if there was any doubt as to what/who the president puts first, there should now be no doubt. It’s “I, me, my.”

How egocentric, how disgraceful, and how dangerous.

Michael Diamant, MD., Koloa

  1. Croesus October 14, 2020 5:47 am Reply

    January 30—– The World Health Organization declares coronavirus a global health emergency, but does not recommend placing travel restrictions against China.

    It’s worth noting that the CCP on January 23 imposed a quarantine of Hubei province in order to protect other Chinese cities from the coronavirus outbreak

    January 31 ——- Australia, New Zealand, the United States and others defy the WHO chief and place travel restrictions against China

    Nominee Joe Biden described the US President’s move as hysterically xenophobic.
    Implying that as President he would have kept the virus floodgates wide open.

    For those who love stats and projections, how many more lives would have been lost while Joe Biden awaits permission from “proper authorities” before he to tried to save American lives?

    Then just days ago we get this headline:

    “WHO Official Urges World Leaders To Stop Using Lockdowns As Primary Virus Control Method”

    President Trump was never a fan of lockdowns to begin with, and as it turns out he was one step ahead of the World Health Organization. But that’s only because unlike Joe Biden, he doesn’t need their approval to try and save American lives


    1. Pete Antonson October 15, 2020 4:07 am Reply

      Well, this is a pile of you know what. The China Ban was a BANd-aid. It was partial and indeed, 40,000 flew in from China in February. We have no idea where they went or what they did. Joe Biden referred to trump’s xenophobia on the announcement day; but, he didn’t mention the travel band-aid at all. I don’t think he even knew about it judging from his actual remarks, which you never looked at! https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/the-facts-on-trumps-travel-restrictions/
      So, liar, liar, pants on fire and Croesus, you’re gonna lose so BIGLY on the 3rd, OMG OMG, so BIGLY, and we will tax you to death Croesus along with all the other Croesi.

  2. semperubisububi October 14, 2020 9:47 am Reply

    It’s hard to understand why, when many parts of the mainland are bracing for the dreaded 2nd wave of the virus and others especially the midwest are having huge spikes, our Governor and Lt. Governor feel this is a good time to reopen to tourism. For so many months we on Kauai have done all the right things to remain healthy and safe.Terrible timing! A test 72 hours before arrival is not going to keep the virus out. Most travelers, when making a flight to our state, never fly directly but have to change planes a few times, meaning further exposure. Most of these flight legs will put travelers in contact with plenty of people going to other destinations and who therefore will not have been tested. Our Mayor, who has done an outstanding job, fought to get a compulsory second test and was denied. So now we will be offering a “voluntary test” to mainland visitors? Somehow I can’t see too many jumping for the opportunity to take a 2nd text thereby putting them at risk of jeopardizing their expensive Hawaiian vacation. This is a terrible decision and we all need to be prepared for the results.

  3. therealhawaiian October 14, 2020 5:28 pm Reply

    Michael, you are a naïve so called “Doctor” who is one dimensional and wouldn’t recognize a great leader if he was sitting on your face. Trump handled the Pandemic better than you, the liberal goons who chastised him for closing down travel from China and Europe, and anyone else who has an agenda of hate for this President. The vaccine will be ready over a year earlier than the liberal goons you worship said it would, or could have accomplished, Fauci has said President Trump has done a good job of handling the Pandemic, and the economy is much better off under the circumstances than any other Executive Branch could have accomplished. Your hate is misplaced, off base, and out of touch with the reality of what this great leader has done for our Country over the past 3 years. You should stick to being a mediocre “Doctor”, try hard to develop a bedside manner, and just admit that you’re a failure at understanding anything about business, psychology, love of Country, or leadership.

    1. Pete Antonson October 15, 2020 4:21 am Reply

      See my comment above about the stupid and inane China travel BANd-aid. Anyone touting this isn’t the dumbest guy on Earth; but, he better hope that guy doesn’t die!
      donald J. (for genius) trump has no empathy whatsoever. He has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honor and no grace That matters a lot to people like me; but, what really matters is that he is a RACIST the likes of which this country hasn’t seen in the White House for one hundred years! He WILL be removed. .

    2. james October 15, 2020 8:54 am Reply

      I don’t know what alternative universe you are living in. Certainly not this one. Drink some more cool-aid.

  4. MisterM October 14, 2020 11:28 pm Reply

    Dr. Michael Diamant posted a well-reasoned rebuke of the current malignant WH occupant. Thank goodness this disgraceful administration will soon be history. The country has become a laughingstock – Trump is openly mocked by world leaders and was played a towering fool by North Korea. He abandoned the Kurds. He ignored the Saudi assasination of Khashogi. He praised tinpot regimes and brown-nosed our greatest foreign adversary – Putin’s Russia (maybe his $430M of personal debt might be why he’s sold out his country?) He’s encouraged white supremecists – people who think any non-white (which also includes Hawaiians) should be forcefully removed, and stoked race-based riots (“fine people on both sides”). He called our war dead suckers and losers. He’s a tax cheat. His sister (a Federal Judge) confirmed he cheated on his SATs. He cheated with his so-called charity and had to disband it due rampant fraudulent activity. Cheated on every one of his 3 wives. Cheated investors with his many bankruptcies and other frauds like Trump University. Cheated banks. Cheated tax payers. But that’s what sociopath’s do.

    Like my father always said, good riddance to bad rubbish. The WH will need a through delousing and fumigation before it’s fit for human habitation again.

  5. Steve Lauryn October 16, 2020 3:33 am Reply

    Thanks Bridget Hammerquist (a nurse, btw) for your thoughts and wisdom on the single-test policy about to be implemented. One test is just not adequate—so says common sense, and just about everyone with medical training or awareness. The tragedy is that Kauai was/has been in a unique position to restart its visitor economy and become a safe haven for travelers from all over the world. We are insulated by a fortuitous moat, are currently accessible by a single mode of transport, and we begin with a clean, Covid-free slate. All we need do is develop effective protocols with the airline/travel industry which are approved by the best science and health experts. That means at least two tests. Advances in rapid testing make more than one test feasible, and convenience and accuracy will continue to improve as well. Visitor demand for Kauai will increase if safety prevails, and the more demand, the less resistance there will be to whatever protocols are required. If we don’t get this right, we’ll have wasted months of sacrifice and hardship. So far, it’s not looking right.

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