House Speaker Scott Saiki is describing the handling of the pandemic thus far as “utterly chaotic,” and is urging Gov. David Ige to shut down the state and have residents shelter in place for the next 15 days.
In a letter to Ige today, Saiki said “there is mass confusion among the public. The number of positive test results is exponentially increasing on a daily basis. To protect people and the long-term stability of our economy, I implore you to immediately order the shut-down and sheltering-in-place of all people in the State of Hawaii.”
Saiki also urged Ige to quarantine all travelers arriving from outside Hawaii for 15 days to protect against the coronavirus, and prohibit all nonessential inter-island and out-of-state travel.
“The directives from the Lieutenant Governor and Mayors are mere recommendations,” Saiki said in the letter dated today. “As Governor, you are the only person in this state who has the direct authority to institute these actions. I implore you to take immediate action for the health, safety, and welfare of all the people of Hawaii.”
Cindy McMillan, communications director for Ige, said in a written statement that “Gov. Ige continues to work through all the options, including their potential benefits and consequences, to secure our islands and do what’s best for our communities.”
Saiki said he was calling on Ige on behalf of the state House and the people of Hawaii to order all people to shelter in place, and also to order Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Director Kenneth Hara to use his authority to ensure the supply chain for necessities such as food, medicine, water, communications, gasoline, and cargo is secure.
He also urged Ige to order Hara to secure any needed hospital and medical supplies necessary to assist with the coming need to treat individuals due to COVID-19, “and work in full cooperation and coordination with the United States Indo-Pacific Command and all of our military partners.”