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Saturday, August 21, 2021
August 21, 2021 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 3:05 PM :: 2128 Views

Second Amendment: Honolulu Concedes Defeat, Another Win For Beck

Green: “We are Seeing a Large Delta Surge Upon Us”

MN: …As of Thursday afternoon, there were 355 individuals statewide in the hospital, including 33 on Maui. About 97% of all the cases are in individuals who have not completed their vaccination, said Lt. Gov. Green.

“Then, when people get sick enough, and that’s about 4.5% of all cases, people go into the hospital. In this case, 37 out of the 355 individuals have had full or partial vaccination–that’s 10.4%. The other 89.6% are not vaccinated and become very sick,” he said.

In the last two weeks, Lt. Gov. Green visited both Queens Medical Center on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Pacific Health Hospital/Straub.

“In those hospitals they are seeing an incredible surge where all of their Intensive Care Unit beds are filled. At Queen’s, 127 individuals are in the hospital and only 11 had any form of vaccination. At Hawaiʻi Pacific Health, 69 individuals are in the hospital and again 11 individuals have had partial or full vaccination. The people who are sickest are unvaccinated,” he said, noting that the virus is impacting a younger demographic.

“Now, because our younger population is not vaccinated, while our older population is vaccinated, the younger people are being hospitalized. I saw a 23 year old in the Intensive Care Unit on Oʻahu yesterday. Fifty-one of our citizens are on ventilators. Half of them are likely to pass away from COVID,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

He used the opportunity to make an appeal to those who still haven’t done so, to get vaccinated. “When I make this appeal to you, I don’t do it because of politics or because I’m a zealot as a physician, I don’t take this recommendation lightly. I do it because I know you have a greater chance of surviving if you are vaccinated. Very few people get severely ill if they are vaccinated,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

The lieutenant governor acknowledged the anxiety present in the community, and said it’s not just the people with COVID who are suffering, but others who cannot access care because beds space is full.

“Last weekend I was on call on the Big Island and a 74 year old gentleman who had his vaccinations–did not have COVID–came in with a severe heart attack. It took me many hours to find a hospital. I had to call 12 different hospitals, even as lieutenant governor… before ultimately he was accepted for care with a cardiologist. That could have been any of our fathers, or uncles or our grandfathers. That individual suffered greatly because we did not have space to give good care for him because our hospitals are full,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

He gave another example of a woman with breast cancer. “She’s suffering terribly, but our hospitals are full. And because of the full nature of our ICUs, they are unable to schedule her mastectomy to remove that cancer from her body. She probably will not get her surgery for at least six weeks,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

“I’m not blaming anyone. I know people have deeply personal reasons to choose whether or not to get vaccinated. I know that there’s distrust in government. I know that there’s distrust in science to some degree and a lot of people choose to use natural immunity to get through these challenges. I understand that with all of my heart. I also understand the science, and the science tells me that if you’re vaccinated, you’re much safer,” said Lt. Gov. Green.

So far, 61.5% of the population is fully vaccinated; and 69.5%, which is 988,206 people have started with a first dose. According to Lt. Gov. Green, noting the numbers do not match up completely because there are 211,000 children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for a vaccine. Approval for children is anticipated in October or November, according to the lieutenant governor.

“If we were vaccinated as a people across the state right now–if 95% of the people had received the vaccination instead of reporting 752 cases today, Mayor Victorino and I would report 25 cases today across the whole state. If were were mostly vaccinated as a state,” Lt. Gov. Green said, instead of reporting 352 individuals in the hospital and 71 people in the ICU and 55 on ventilators, “and reporting that people can’t get their mastectomy or treatment for a heart attack, we would have only 10 people in the hospital. We wouldn’t even be noting it on the news,” he said.…. 

SA VIDEO: Lt. Gov. Josh Green joins the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Spotlight Hawaii

read … Lt. Gov. Green: “We are Seeing a Large Delta Surge Upon Us”

Hawaii health officials say data shows power in the vaccine

HNN: … Hawaii leaders said they are making decisions about fighting the pandemic based on science and data, and epidemiologists said the data shows the power of the vaccine as well as the unproportionate devastation the virus has on certain communities.

Fifteen percent of the people infected are under 17. Individuals between 18 to 29 years are 16% of our population, but account for 24% of the cases total cases, the most of any age group.

Those between the ages of 30 to 39 account for 19% of known infections, and the trend goes down as people get older.

Epidemiologists said that if you look at vaccination by age group, there’s a revealing flip-flop in the data….

As of Thursday, the two younger groups, those between 12 and 17 and those 18 to 29, have about 65% of the population with at least one dose. Those are the lowest vaccination rates, and they get higher as people get older….

At the beginning of March, COVID-19 patients only occupied 25 beds, according to Hawaii Emergency Management. On August 19, they filled 71.

Hospitalization rates also tell officials where to focus their efforts.

People who are white make up 25% of the population, but only 12% of hospitalizations. Twenty percent of those who end up in the hospital are Native Hawaiian, which is about proportionate to their population.

Data then shows a huge disparity among Pacific Islanders, who are only 4% of the population but are 24% of people in hospitals….

There is another big gap for Filipinos, who make up 22% of people who end up in the hospital and only 16% of the population.

Most other ethnicities are hospitalized at rates lower than their population, according to DOH data….

HTH: ‘Get your vaccination’: Clinic at Kealakehe High School targets students, athletes

read … Hawaii health officials say data shows power in the vaccine

25% Positivity:  COVID situation on the Leeward coast a ‘disaster’

KHON: … The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center said it is inundated with COVID patients….

Schafer is the facility’s epidemiologist. He said about one in four tests is coming back positive, which is a 25% positivity rate. He added that the Waianae Coast has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state.

“We’re having trouble finding beds for them,” Schafer said about the current situation. “We’re calling multiple institutions. We’re calling Kaiser. We’re calling Queen’s. We’re calling Pali Momi. [There are] very, very few beds available, and it’s taking a long time to get these folks the emergency care they need.”

His message came as Queen’s West Oahu declared an internal state of emergency due to the influx of COVID patients.

“The entire Leeward coast is a disaster area right now,” Schafer told KHON2. “The rates are incredible. The amount of active infection we are seeing doubles every seven to 10 days. I don’t see an end insight.”…

read … Epidemiologist calls COVID situation on the Leeward coast a ‘disaster’

Total Molokai COVID cases triple in the last two weeks

KHON: … COVID is ripping through Molokai like wildfire.

Senator Lynn DeCoite is concerned.

“We see our numbers climbing,” DeCoite said. “We see a lot of resources being put up forward, whether it be vaccines or testing.”

In the last two weeks, the tight-knit community with just 6,275 residents had 56 new cases, bringing their total cases since the pandemic started to 138. The island now has a 7.1% positivity rate….

“A particular business on Molokai for which there was a lot of contact with that business, that was a financial institution,” Victorino said. “They’ve done their proper clean up, shut down. They’ve done sanitation so they’re taking care of that.”…

Molokai General is the only hospital on the island. There are only 15 beds there, and resources are limited.

“They’re starting to erect tents in places that is needed and you don’t want to have your loved one be the one on waiting without services,” DeCoite explained…. 

MN: Molokai’s cases up almost 60 in 2 weeks

read … Total Molokai COVID cases tripled in the last two weeks

F.D.A. Expected to Fully Approve Pfizer Vaccine Next Week

NYT: … The Food and Drug Administration is pushing to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, further expediting an earlier timeline for licensing the shot, according to people familiar with the agency’s planning.

Regulators were working to finish the process by Friday but were still working through a substantial amount of paperwork and negotiation with the company. The people familiar with the planning, who were not authorized to speak publicly about it, cautioned that the approval might slide beyond Monday if some components of the review need more time….

read … F.D.A. Expected to Fully Approve Pfizer Vaccine Next Week

Lt. Gov. Green: Hawaii looking at requiring proof of vaccination for indoor activities

HNN: … Hawaii could potentially implement a program that would require people to show proof of vaccination at indoor bars, restaurants and gyms, similar to New York City and San Francisco, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said Friday.

“It is something we’re working up right now,” Green told Hawaii News Now. “And it would be temporary. People should think of it as a reward for going the extra mile for safety. It should not be a punishment.”

New York City was the first in the nation to institute a vaccine mandate for these indoor businesses, and San Francisco followed suit by adopting a similar policy.

“We have several partners, we could use the Safe Travels website, so we could get a QR code that way, we could use Clear and Common Pass,” Green said.

Green also spoke to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in its Spotlight Honolulu conversation on Friday, saying that this proposal would soon be presented to the governor.

He said a lockdown — or even a curfew — is not something they would put into place right now because the focus should be on restricting gatherings and increasing vaccinations to curb the spread of COVID.

“I know there are people out there who say ‘just shut it all down,’ but that’s a pretty difficult thing to do when suddenly a family that got vaccinated won’t be able to pay their rent, won’t be able to pay their mortgage, won’t be able to pay for groceries for their children, may not have extra unemployment protection,” he said. “They got vaccinated. They’ve done the right thing, so that’s where the debate really is.”

On a similar note, he said the state would likely not reinstate a pre-travel testing program for vaccinated people because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says travel for vaccinated people is safe and that it wouldn’t stand up in court….

read … Lt. Gov. Green: Hawaii looking at requiring proof of vaccination for indoor activities

Honolulu prosecutor Steven Alm undeterred by outcome in Sykap case

SA: … Despite two historic, failed attempts to put three Honolulu police officers on trial for the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap, Prosecuting Attorney Steven S. Alm maintains the trio’s actions were not justified and vowed to continue to seek justice wherever the evidence takes his office, regardless of the target.

Alm said the efforts to hold the men “accountable” have “come to a close,” in an internal message sent Thursday afternoon to the employees of the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney and obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

“When I announced that this office would conduct independent, objective investigations of all officer- involved shootings, I knew that there would be some people who would be unhappy if we ever found a shooting to be an unjustifiable use of deadly force and proceeded with a prosecution. Some of you may have heard such criticism and I know that must have been difficult to hear,” Alm wrote. “Nevertheless, it is our obligation as ethical, responsible prosecutors to proceed with a case if the facts warrant it, as they did in the Sykap matter. We are here to do the right thing, not the easy thing. And I know you are too.”…

He lauded the effort of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher T. Van Marter for “an excellent job in preparing and presenting the case in challenging circumstances.”…

Burks said prosecutors have to do what they believe to be right, regardless of outside opinion, but they also decline cases where they could prove probable cause but know a conviction is unlikely. The effort may not have been worth ripping open wounds for the victim’s family, the officers and the community, he said.

“What does probable cause get you? At trial you have to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It took six days to present all the evidence. If you are having to go through that just to get to probable cause, there is zero chance that 12 members of the community are going to find beyond a reasonable doubt that these officers were guilty of murder and attempted murder,” he said….

Kenneth L. Lawson, a faculty specialist (not a pimp importer) at the William S. Richardson School of Law and co-director of the Hawaii Innocence Project, told the Star-Advertiser that charging the officers was appropriate….

read … Honolulu prosecutor Steven Alm undeterred by outcome in Sykap case

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