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Letters: Widespread testing needed to fight virus; RIMPAC should cancel; Clean-energy planning

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Testing is the key to everything. Widespread, freely available testing would end the need for the draconian blanket quarantine strategy that is destroying the economy and warping our lives.

Through testing we can identify people with the coronavirus who have no symptoms, and we can do a precision quarantine of them and their associates.

Instead, because we don’t know who the positives are, we quarantine everybody in an attempt to prevent contact with the positives, who remain unknown because of the rationing of testing.

Some infected people never develop significant symptoms, yet they shed virus that can infect others, who then get mortally sick. It is becoming increasingly obvious that such stealth shedders are the drivers of the community-acquired infections. Thus, everyone who wants a test should get a test. This means that we need massive numbers of tests and lots of labs doing the tests.

How to pay for this? What about war bonds? This is a war, after all. This is existential.

John M Berestecky, Ph.D.

Professor of microbiology

Kapiolani Community College


With 14-day quarantine, RIMPAC should cancel

I am still waiting to hear from our nation’s military about a long-overdue cancellation of the 27th Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) war exercises planned from late June to early August in Hawaii and waters surrounding our islands. As of now, the world’s largest international military exercise promises to bring dozens of ships, hundreds of planes and thousands of troops from more than 20 nations.

Given the current COVID-19 crisis, with Hawaii’s mandated 14-day quarantine on travelers, I join with individuals and organizations locally and globally who are calling on military leaders to do the right thing and cancel RIMPAC 2020.

Locking down the populace while cranking up the war machine is inappropriate. If the international community can agree on putting a hold on the Olympic Games, so should the world’s military establishment cancel the war games. Let’s all work together for a healthier and more peaceful world.

Wally Inglis

Palolo Valley


Containing COVID-19 requires space, PPEs

It is crystal-clear that two things need to be done in Hawaii to bend the curve and contain the COVID-19 outbreak: Immediately secure temporary space for those who are diagnosed and separate them from others, and obtain sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilators. I don’t see this happening.

We should have tested far more widely by now, because only by surveillance testing can this virus be isolated, and then we can come out from isolation. It is Epidemiology 101. We have wasted precious time.

Jean E. Rosenfeld

Downtown Honolulu


Tourists scapegoats for spread of coronavirus

My wife and I reside in Arizona and have vacationed in Hawaii several times. We had planned a 15-day, three-island trip in May.

We have now canceled all that due to coronavirus restrictions throughout Hawaii. In all, we probably would have spent about $4,000. We have been reading about the quarantining of tourists for 14 days, stay-at-home orders and the closure of restaurants, parks and more. From comments made by some local officials and residents, we perceive a near-disdain for tourists — for instance, the 14-day quarantine of tourists when only a few tourists have had the coronavirus.

We fully understand the spread of the virus and the unique nature of the islands, but just have not felt any good aloha spirit coming from Hawaii officials toward tourists. We have been their scapegoats for the virus spread. We know now that tourists are looked upon as the state’s impersonal cash cow that can be quarantined in the barn until needed again to revive the economy.

David Burford

Tucson, Ariz.


Clean-energy planning must include aesthetics

Eurus Energy America’s withdrawal of its bid to install wind turbines on the Makakilo hills is a natural progression in our quest to reach our renewable energy goals (“Loss of wind project hurts renewable energy effort,” Star-Advertiser, Our View, March 28).

Reducing the burning of fossil fuels is extremely important, but the conversion needs to be done correctly. Politicians, regulators and corporations should more carefully consider social justice when putting together their plans. This includes aesthetics. There is a reason no one is proposing putting giant wind turbines on windy Koko Head.

Entities that can come up with innovative ways to capture the wind’s energy, while reducing the health, annoyance and visual impacts, are the ones we want to help us achieve our energy goals while preserving our quality of life. Entities that cannot do that are going to fall by the wayside.

Let’s be innovative and lead the world, the way we’ve done in the past.

Tony Hoff



Even in these days overshadowed by the coronavirus, bright spots exist. If you see kindness or positivity going on, share it with our readers via a 150-word letter to the editor; email it to We’ll be running some of these uplifting letters occasionally to help keep spirits up, as we hunker down. We are all in this together.


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