VOICES: COVID on Kaua‘i and your medical care providers

The undersigned medical care providers have spent much of our professional lives caring for the families of Kaua‘i. We are writing this letter to the Kaua‘i community and, in particular, to our first responders (especially firefighters and lifeguards) and to the parents of our school students. You have come to us for medical care for years, please trust us now as we face our greatest healthcare threat.

Our schools are at risk of closing due to the extremely contagious Delta variant. Our hospitals are in crisis – overloaded, overworked, and often not able to transfer critically ill people into the ICU because the beds are already filled. Imagine your loved one has a heart attack or critical injury but cannot get appropriate care.

Rationing of care is already occurring in other states and has started here with the difficulty in transferring to O‘ahu hospitals. It will get much worse if high rates of infection continue. The need to turn the tide on the pandemic and protect our community could not be more urgent, and collective action by the community is required to achieve this.

The science is clear – masking, good ventilation, vaccinating all eligible people, including eligible school children, and viral testing of students – will give us the best chance to keep our schools open, our students and families healthy, and the health care system fully functional.

Hundreds of first responders across the nation are dying from COVID. Their jobs put them at great risk of catching it. Household-like living arrangements at fire stations put firefighters at increased risk of spreading the virus to each other. The necessity to quarantine unvaccinated close contacts presents a major risk to the firefighting workforce overall. Frequently people who have been infected will not display symptoms at first (some never have any symptoms). First responders can pass it on to the vulnerable people they often take care of in life and death situations. It is urgent that our front-line care personnel are vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and the community. To be clear, vaccinated people can spread the coronavirus too, but they catch it much less often and they are contagious for a much shorter time. Please note also, testing in schools (at least once a week if not twice) is important because the younger children are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Fortunately, the school testing is now a very gentle procedure.

Testing the unvaccinated first responders once a week still leaves first responders greater than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID, five times more likely to be infected1, and at least twice as likely to infect others than a vaccinated individual.

Anti-masking and anti-vaccine arguments are common, but they lack a credible scientific basis. Statewide, not only are most MDs and nurses vaccinated, but their eligible family members are as well. Nationwide, greater than 95% of physicians were vaccinated by early June and more are now. We are vaccinated and use masks because it is demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt to be the best way to keep ourselves, our loved ones, the patients we care for, and our community safe.

Fifteen hundred people are dying in the U.S. from COVID every day and 95% of those dying are unvaccinated. Please join us, please stop listening to the misleading information rampant on social media, get your vaccine, wear your masks, and encourage others to do the same. If you are a first responder or involved in the schools, you are our front lines. Please get vaccinated and have your eligible children vaccinated also.

With great Aloha,

Shannon Bianchi, M.D.

Wayne Burris, M.D.

Erin Carrington, PA-C

Graham Chelius, M.D.

Kapono Chong-Hanssen, M.D.

Anthony Clark, M.D.

Bridget Collins, M.D.

Robert Conrad, M.D.

Thomas del Ninno, M.D.

Michael Diamant, M.D.

Monty Downs, M.D.

Paul Esaki, M.D.

Lee Evslin, M.D.

Alana Goo-Frazier APRN NP-C

Dave Gregorius, D.O.

Amy Guyton, M.D.

Kevin Guyton, M.D.

Derek Johnson, D.O.

Michael Johnson, M.D.

Christopher Jordan, M.D.

Elaine Kubota, M.D.

Manon Kwon, M.D.

Teresa Lanier, M.D. PhD.

Jesse Lam, M.D.

Patrick Leaf, M.D.

Kapua Medeiros, M.D.

Luke Metzker, M.D.

Dana Michaan, PA-C

Candice Myhre, M.D.

Travis Parker, M.D.

Heidi Percell, M.D.

Mary Pixler, M.D.

Mathew Ruel, M.D.

Erik Schumacher, M.D.

Michael Schwartz, M.D.

Spencer Smith, M.D.

Warren Sparks, M.D.

Daniel Spicer, D.O.

Randi Taniguchi-Fu, M.D.

Rebecca Walker, M.D.

Robert Weiner, M.D.

Linda Weiner, M.D.

Eric Vaughan, M.D.

  1. TomK September 16, 2021 3:39 am Reply

    Mahalo. My wife, an ER Trauma Level 1 nurse manager, who has worked through the pandemic, agrees with you 100%. We both got vaccinated as soon as possible. I just lost a friend, a 42-year-old attorney in Texas who died of COVID-19. He believed social media more than science. NOW his wife believes the science. Very sad.

  2. Not so fast September 16, 2021 6:43 am Reply

    I agree with the sentiment. I am vaccinated and support vaccination efforts for all that can be. With that said the science is not as clear as the author’s state on masks. It is dangerous when medical professionals make such assertions when the science is anything but clear on this issue. Is there harm in masking adults, probably not. Is the science clear with children, some studies suggest there are down sides that may outweigh any perceived benefits. I use the word perceived, because the science is not clear. I would love for the authors to present us with the “science” on this issue in the form of studies that suggest otherwise. But for all out there please protect yourself by getting your vaccination. If you have questions find a doctor or health professional that can help you assess the risks of being vaccinated vs. not. You don’t need to be preached at, but should be informed. Get informed by professionals, not some internet guru, and I am confident you will make the right decision for you. Thank you health care professionals for doing what you made a vow to do in very tough times.

  3. Natural September 16, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    The only “science” that is clear now is how the propaganda machine works. Say it enough and it becomes true.
    I don’t trust anyone or anything except my own interpretations.
    Natural immunity works, and I’m alive to say it.
    You’ll be great subjects for China when they decide to invade.

    1. doc September 16, 2021 9:15 am Reply

      Trusting your own intuitions will kill you.
      You are the propaganda machine.
      We are living in a world wide pandemic, listen to the experts on this one.
      Your ignorance is lethal.

      1. Hickory doc September 16, 2021 10:30 am Reply

        Id say if your intuitions sway you to live an active healthy lifestyle, not eat highly processed foods, and take your personal health seriously you are much better off than those who proclaim a “vaccine” makes your a healthy virtuous individual. While you cannot deny obese, unhealthy folks are the ones dying.

      2. Natural September 16, 2021 11:46 am Reply

        It clearly hasn’t. I’m still here to tell you and I have antibodies. Natural immunity works and the “experts” don’t even mention it. Why?
        Time will tell and it will show just how wrong these “experts” and you are.

        1. Pete Antonson September 20, 2021 3:52 am Reply

          She is a TOP expert and she is mentioning it.
          “If you have had COVID-19 before, please still get vaccinated,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “This study shows you are twice as likely to get infected again if you are unvaccinated. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.”

          Why do people like Natural just LIE LIE LIE all the time. Do you really think no one will check

    2. Jube September 16, 2021 11:57 am Reply

      You’re alive NOW. But odds are you are less likely to be alive if you continue thinking your social media research makes you smarter than anyone else. Not to mention the lives of your loved ones…

      1. Natural September 16, 2021 6:24 pm Reply

        Social media? I don’t follow or tweet.
        Sorry, but I can assume that’s one root of the propaganda problem, and the dumbing down of humanity.
        I have antibodies, guessing I got them March 2020 when I felt off for a few days. I receive an antigen test roughly every 30 days when I donate my pure blood for the monoclonal antibody treatment that those who have abused their bodies (by choice) and unfortunately need mine. If I had the vaccine circulating in my blood, they would not be able to use it for treatment. Sooooo….you’re welcome from those of us who stay pure, healthy and donate to make medicine.
        Odds are that I should be worth my weight in gold when the truth about these vaccines is fully understood.

    3. Un September 16, 2021 2:49 pm Reply

      So, that computer you just used to write the post… That was the same science you don’t trust. Do us all a favor and throw it away, too!

    4. Cory September 17, 2021 9:55 am Reply

      You say that you are not into propaganda and you say we will be test subjects to China🤷🏽‍♂️. Lost me there on that one.

  4. kauaiboy September 16, 2021 7:03 am Reply

    This is a powerful statement from a whole lot of medical professionals.

    Please stop listening to the nay-sayers. Get vaccinated.

    And for those who keep crying “My body, my choice” please re-consider your support of the anti-abortion movement. After all, is is not a “females body, females choice” ??

  5. alien September 16, 2021 7:17 am Reply

    It would be very helpful to your message if the DOH and the county gave all sides to the story instead of just Get Vaccinated. We all should have all the information presented to us so we can make informed decisions of how we want to take care of our bodies. The inventor of mnra Vaccines is appauled by the way proper medical practice is not being followed. The risk of vaccine injury is real. Certain drugs are helpful in treating covid yet are being lied about in the DOH narritive. The insulting messaging is creating this situation. Maybe you should write a letter to DOH.

    1. douglas henry September 16, 2021 10:23 am Reply

      you can email your doctor at MyChart and he or she will email back with answers to all your questions. I did, and am now fully vaccinated.

  6. Debra Kekaualua September 16, 2021 7:49 am Reply

    Once upon a Kauai time, 1978 to 2001, Kauai ‘Medical’ Group had a roster of physicians that were available to We the people.

    On-call physicians were impossible to find as HawTel only had pagers. There were no techno devices then.

    “Central Answering” was born with Live voice 24-7-365 Emergency Business and Physicians Exchange call center communications, which filled that gap for 20+ years and included voice paging services, thanks to Dr. Weiner Kalaheo Clinic and WH roofs. The placement of 2-motorolla base stations, island-wide, had 50-medpro individuals and the required immediate contact methods, that my business ‘Central’ provided to them under contract. Besides which, I was also a Wilcox Hospital 40+/- years associate, ER ward clerk, First EMS crew, transcription, and ICU/3rd tower ward clerk.

    In 1973, I was out from the KCC R.N. A.D. nursing program, initially worked WH switchboard communications. Then, it was all about “medical” and wAs adequate enough unless you had an issue that required going to Oahu Queens, Kapiolani, Straub, or Veterans hospitals.

    I am a proud USAF Brat. Since birth in 1948 until 1960, our warrior family received dozens of Tested jabs related to my dad’s every 10-month USAF base transfers around the globe. Dad an Intelligence officer, last stationing 1958-59 was at an all military top secret Hickham AFB fake statehood rally.

    Long story short, 50-years, two major hurricanes and retroactive from current politicians and U.S. Pacific region military, these peoples have kept the fascade up and running. However, We the people today know much better and without a shadow of doubt, the agenda they continue to shove down our throats. Every war or happening like 9-11 has been an “inside job” facts.

    “Science” collectively has came out of Wuhan or other labs. Fauci and Kauai FB Z, alongside the retroactive 150+ years of Hawaii politicians, as well as, all the other judicial criminality or thousands of circus clowns continue lying to us and want us to get THIS particular untested jab. Why?

    It’s not about medical OR science. Straight up, it is about money and control, and glutting this island Disneyland with wealthy mogals that has literally been killing off “locals” and the transplants that have taken their places. We are no longer as my mom wouldve said, “dumber than we look”, and in these days gangy, it is “Game Over” for those still on the U.S. pedestal of evil intent.

    1. Kauaibrad September 16, 2021 1:31 pm Reply

      Right on Debra Kekaualua!

      No to the clot shots!

    2. judy darling September 18, 2021 4:50 pm Reply

      Right on!! You have done some homework and are truly informed. It’s slowly coming out that the vaccine was never made to rid infection but to reduce the symptoms, so with that you can spread it regardless and if you’re not healthy either way vac or not vac you can get sick. So stay healthy not in fear because you can attract a lot of unpleasant things. God given immunity is always better than man made, but if you need it well then take it! That’s should be for everyone to decide. Besides the vaccines are always for the last one not the new one just like the flu, and more jabs the more problems you’ll face later with a jacked up immune system. God bless

  7. One question September 16, 2021 7:49 am Reply

    You make no mention of natural antibody protection from previous infection and based off of many studies coming in from around the world in regards to the durability of immunity garnered from this. You’ve conveniently left out again this part of the puzzle. Which is no small part in the grand scheme of things. Without recognizing this fact and pushing for semblance for an antibody certificate to add to your vaccination and testing requirement. You’re not going to have the trust of everyone.

    1. Let’s Go Kauai September 16, 2021 12:48 pm Reply

      It seems the risk of achieving natural immunity through getting COVid is much riskier than getting vaccinated. The injury or death from the virus itself occurs at a far higher rate than injury from the vaccine. That may be why medical professionals are not recommending the path of natural immunity.

      1. Shades of gray September 16, 2021 2:51 pm Reply

        I’m not anti vaccine. Clearly it is effective. However my grievance with this vaccine narrative is that they do not recognize immunity from infection as viable and comparable if not better than getting a vaccine. They should atleast acknowledge it. The fact they don’t is misinformation and derails their intentions.

    2. An answer in the form of a question September 16, 2021 2:55 pm Reply

      When should a doctor ever recommend getting sick?

    3. Jill Friedman September 16, 2021 3:05 pm Reply

      “Untested jab?” Really?

      The vaccines available in the US have been fully tested through the experimental stage, followed by trials on volunteers before being authorized for emergency use and the Pfizer has been fully and permanently approved with Moderna approval imminent. Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have been administered over the past 9 months to around 200,000,000 Americans and billions worldwide and have proven safe and effective.

      Let’s try a little math. Nearly 66% of Hawaii residents have been fully vaccinated. If vaccination had no effect, we would expect at least 66% of the COVID deaths to be of vaccinated people, yet only 5-10% of those hospitalizations and deaths are of the vaccinated. And those are people in high risk groups who are susceptiblet breakthrough infections in spite of vaccination. Clearly the vaccines are working even against the Delta variant.

      The primary vectors of COVID are young adults, yet that group has the lowest vaccination rate, barely 50% on Kauai. That’s why COVID is surging and why the workforce need to be vaccinated. Anti-vaxxers are doing a lot of harm and are needlessly prolonging the pandemic.

  8. Petrina September 16, 2021 8:28 am Reply

    Bravo for banding together and taking this stance. Kaua’i it is way past time to do your part for the community and your Ohana and get vaccinated.

  9. John Shklov September 16, 2021 8:32 am Reply

    Thanks to all the doctors and medical staff that signed the endorsement of getting the vaccine. Thanks to D.O.H. for their support. Mahalo and Aloha.

    1. truthbeknown September 16, 2021 8:33 pm Reply

      I would like to see a statement from each of the responders publicly stating that they have received all of their vaccinations and intend to take any booster shots being offered in the future. Make a list of these health practitioners and check to see if they are still around a year from now. If they all are, this will be a testimony to the effectiveness of the vaccines. If many have passed on, it will tell a different story indeed. I wish them well as we will need medical professionals now more than ever in the coming months. Time will tell if they were right.

  10. onebrahda September 16, 2021 11:49 am Reply

    When I hear that a un-vaccinated has died from COVID, I no longer feel sympathetic for them. I have a friend that was a LOUD anti-vaccine proponent. He is now in the hospital for his 4th week. Just when he thinks he will go home cause he feels better, BOOM, he is down and out again. And he was very healthy before catching COVID.
    He has apologized to all his group that he was preaching to (about “don’t get it”) and now is preaching to get it.
    These anti-vaxers rather listen to fake media and mis-leading information than those that are going through it right now. Listen to the families that lost loved ones because of this virus. they have no hidden agenda, just broken hearts cause they felt (strongly against the vaccine) like you at the beginning of all this.
    God bless America!

  11. Karen L Ramos September 16, 2021 12:14 pm Reply

    How many of these doctors read the 100,000 page report that Pfizer turn in to get final approval? How many with the CDC, FDA etc? Did Dr. Fauci? I doubt it. I bet they can’t even answer these questions.

  12. Ken Taylor September 16, 2021 12:33 pm Reply

    Jonny O

    Unexpected and heartbreaking: Thousands flood ABC affiliate’s Facebook page with vaccination horror stores
    By Winter Watch
    13 September 2001 World Tribune… An ABC News fishing expedition on Facebook took a startling turn over the weekend, after a reporter asked readers to share stories of loved who died of Covid after refusing or delating to get the vaccine. Instead, thousands of reader reported of loved ones who died after vaccination and, […] yes about 35,000 comments

  13. RG DeSoto September 16, 2021 4:00 pm Reply

    Lots of huffing and puffing over an affliction with incredibly high SURVIVAL rates from the CDC:
    0-19 YO 99.97% survival rate
    20-49 YO 99.98%
    50-69 YO 99.5%
    70+ YO 94.6%
    For those 0-69 that’s an average survival rate of 99.825%
    For those 70 and older it is clear that the thrust of protection is for them. Especially, since it is in this group that comorbidity plays a huge role.
    RG DeSoto

  14. RG DeSoto September 16, 2021 4:02 pm Reply

    Correction…for 0-19 the survival rate is 99.997%

  15. Morgan Kelly September 16, 2021 11:50 pm Reply

    Science is based on asking questions, having dialog and debate. But none seem to be welcomed right now.

    Some simple questions I ask myself and so should everyone:

    1- what are the ingredients in the covid19 jabb?
    2-why is the insert blank?
    3- why is there NO liability for covid19 jabb manufacturers? Doctors?
    4- where are the long term studies?
    5- what about double blind placebos? And proper control groups?.
    6- why do these doctors support this new to the market 1st time ever drug without the above things to base their support from?

    There is an obvious rush to “vaccinate” first and research later- this has left us in a position whereby COVID-19 vaccination policy is now entirely divorced from the relevant evidence-base.

    I do not have social media but do know of at least 20 people in my direct bubble who have been seriously injured, paralyzed even and 5 who have died days if not hours after this jabb. I also know of 3 pregnant women who lost their babies well past 6 months healthy gestation.

    One of the doctors on this list is my pcp… not for long.

    1. truthbeknown September 17, 2021 11:49 am Reply

      Morgan, like you I perused the list with the hope that none listed were my family doctors. Fortunately that was the case. I would suggest that these doctors remove their heads from the sand and stop listening to the propaganda from the pharmaceutical industry. Your questions are valid ones and should be properly investigated by these purported health prognosticators. The old military axiom of “shoot first and ask questions later” shouldn’t apply to medical professionals.

  16. Hirondelle September 17, 2021 2:27 pm Reply

    The mind reels. Again.

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