comscore Letters: Stop political infighting over Maui DOH doctor; Find out if people you meet are vaccinated; Charge tourists more to pay for their costs | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Editorial | Letters

Letters: Stop political infighting over Maui DOH doctor; Find out if people you meet are vaccinated; Charge tourists more to pay for their costs

Let’s stop the political infighting around COVID-19 and the leadership of Dr. Lorrin Pang at the Department of Health on Maui (“Sen. Roz Baker calls on state to fire Maui district health officer for promoting dangerous COVID-19 treatments,” Star-Advertiser, Top News, Aug. 26).

We are in a war that right now we are losing. This state needs qualified leadership to help us address the upcoming battles against a virus that is not going away.

I am a forensic pathologist and licensed physician in Hawaii. Hawaii is fortunate to have leaders like Drs. Josh Green, Elizabeth Char and Pang. As a state we are challenged to have sufficient health care leadership and infrastructure to deal with the issues we now face.

Even 30 years ago we relied on physicians, nurses and other health care professionals from the mainland to help us with care for our kamaaina. We need Dr. Pang. We don’t need political nonsense.

Jonathan Lord, M.D.



No excuse for AFC’s hostile behavior

The Aloha Freedom Coalition (AFC) has denied responsibility for the anti- Semitic slurs attached to their posters depicting our lieutenant governor as a “fraud” for his scientific approach to COVID-19 vaccinations (“Lt. Gov. Josh Green target of hate campaign,” Star-Advertiser, Aug. 26).

They continue to invade his privacy, threaten his family, shout and flash strobe lights outside his home while respecting his religion?

Thanks a lot.

John Wythe White



Find out if people you meet are vaccinated

My husband and I are in a vulnerable population (senior citizens). We recently had a one-hour business meeting with one other person in the person’s office. We were all masked.

Not until the meeting was over did we learn that the person was unvaccinated. It is highly unethical for any person not to reveal, with full disclosure and transparency, his or her vaccination status when having such a meeting, especially since the COVID-19 delta variant is highly transmissible, and especially when meeting with anyone in an at-risk population.

Anyone meeting with a lawyer, accountant, real estate agent or any other person, especially in a confined space, should ask that person before the meeting whether he or she has been vaccinated. Some people express their right not to get vaccinated for COVID-19. I have the right not to do business with someone who has made that choice.

Leslie Ann Munro



Front page no place for conspiracy theories

I am gobsmacked by the Star-Advertiser’s decision to lead with “Group’s virus claims draw concern” (Star-Advertiser, Aug. 25).

I can understand if the article was elsewhere in the paper, but the Pono Coalition for Informed Consent certainly does not deserve that prized piece of real estate. Giving any acknowledgement or credence to Merlyn Travis’ theories of conspiracy is so detrimental to the state’s push for a fully vaccinated population. It is a disservice that undermines public health messaging.

Travis claimed their group is cutting through the censorship and propaganda of scientific proof of the vaccine’s efficacy. The definition of propaganda is the spread of misinformation to further a person or political party’s own views. That is exactly what Travis and company are doing.

If in fact their claim that “if you are under 65, the vaccine is more likely to kill you than save your life” were true, there would be millions more people dead than alive due to the vaccine.

I imagine many uninformed, uneducated readers pouncing on this article to justify their excuse for resisting vaccination.

Linda Carlson



Charge tourists more to pay for their costs

Hordes of entitled tourists are swarming over ka aina o Hawaii. The visitor industry profits handsomely, and it funds politicians and a powerful propaganda machine.

There was little effort by politicians to diversify the economy during the pandemic. It isn’t in their interest. They told us we must wait it out until the untouchable tourist industry could be resuscitated.

Short of Hawaii becoming a nation once again, there is no way to achieve lower, sustainable levels of tourism. We have no choice but to host all of these unwanted guests.

We can and must make tourists pay the full cost of hosting them.

Draconian measures are required to mitigate the damage. Immediately raise hotel, auto, short-term rentals and beach park tax and fees to a flat rate of $500 a day. Use the money generated for infrastructure, the environment, diversification and stopping rampant illegal house and private car rentals. Retire politicians who won’t stand up for Hawaii.

Paul Pollitt



For travelers: Vaccine or quarantine, but no test

Many on these pages have argued that the state should bring back the Safe Travels Hawaii pre-travel COVID-19 test requirement for all trans-Pacific travelers.

Although I agree that Safe Travels should be modified and strengthened, the reimplementation of pre-travel testing is the wrong approach. Instead, the state should require all unvaccinated travelers to quarantine for 10 days and allow exemptions only for vaccinated travelers.

This approach not only would be in accord with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, but also would provide a greater incentive (primarily for kamaaina) to get vaccinated. Additionally, most public health experts will tell you that a test 72 hours prior to travel is only a snapshot in time of what COVID-19 exposure the testee had prior to the test.

As soon as you take the test, you could be reexposed and newly infected, becoming contagious while in the islands.

Currently the Safe Travels testing exemption actually provides a negative incentive and an “out” to getting vaccinated.

David Houff



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