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Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Green 'Fired' from State COVID Response in Dispute Over Mass Testing
By Rep Cynthia Thielen @ 1:57 PM :: 2477 Views :: COVID-19

 

VIDEO: Josh Green addresses Hawaii Couny Council, March 25, 2020

RELATED: Hawaii State DoH Dr Park goes on 10 minute rant against testing.

Gov. Ige: Let the Lt. Gov. Take Charge!

News Release from Rep Cynthia Thielen, March 24, 2020

This afternoon Rep. Cynthia Thielen (Kailua-Kaneohe Bay) called for a special emergency reconvening of the State Legislature in order to name Lt. Gov. Josh Green as Hawaii’s COVID-19 Emergency Director. This was initiated as more information continues to surface regarding Gov. Ige’s “firing” of Lt. Gov. Green as COVID-19 Chief Advisor and Liaison to the Governor. Included in this appointment will be Legislative funding for the Lt. Governor to operate in his new capacity.

“Hawaii is extremely fortunate to have a Lt. Governor who not only is a medical doctor but who has worked in public health. Lt. Governor Green is absolutely the right person to lead our state out of this very serious and frightening emergency. To silence him because of political or other reasons is a travesty. It is astounding that we, as Legislators, would have to take this drastic step to forcibly make our Governor do what is only right to protect our families and community,” said Rep. Thielen.

Rep. Thielen said that she is now working remotely from her home office to communicate with other State Legislators regarding the coordination of this effort.

“We are going to win this fight against the virus, but we have to put down political aspirations, party affiliations, and personal insecurities to win the war. Our leaders need to be examples on how we all can work together in the spirit of true ohana. The experience and expertise of medical doctors, scientists, and public health professionals are vital at this time,” said Rep. Thielen.

SA: Legislator calls for Lt. Gov. Josh Green to take over COVID-19 response

Ige Response: Lt. Governor is not banned from news conferences and meetings.

  *   *   *   *   * 

Ige, Green Smooth Over Differences On COVID-19 Response

CB March 25, 2020: … A day after massive public outrage over Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s decision to keep his lieutenant governor — a doctor with extensive emergency and public health experience — out of the inner circle leading the state’s coronavirus response, the two have apparently gotten back on the same track.

Ige and Lt. Gov. Josh Green met privately Wednesday evening in the governor’s fifth floor office for over an hour, Green said afterwards.

“It was about better understanding my role and trying to work more closely together,” Green said. “I greatly appreciate the clarity and what he told me he felt he needed from me. It was an extremely productive meeting.”

Cindy McMillan, Ige’s communications director, said the administration typically does not comment on meetings.

But Green said, “The governor and I were able to get on the same page as to how I can best help in the state’s health care response to coronavirus.”…

read … Ige, Green Smooth Over Differences On COVID-19 Response

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii Doctors Battle State Health Department Over COVID-19 Testing

CB March 25, 2020: … Lt. Gov. Josh Green and doctors call for more tests to stem a wave of patients while the state health department advocates conserving testing capacity….

The doctors who want more screening say an expansive testing program can show who has the disease and how it spreads and thus stop it. They are calling for widespread screening of people showing symptoms and even, in some cases, people not showing any. The most recent research on the virus shows that about 80% of cases are mild or asymptomatic.

The health department is calling for a far more conservative approach based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its policy is to not test some people who have mild symptoms and can recover at home in isolation – to save test kits and other supplies that might be needed should the outbreak worsen.

Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is also a medical doctor and in the camp calling for more testing, said the health department’s approach is misguided.

“You cannot allow a wave of COVID-19 cases to sweep over the state all at once because we’ll have massive fatalities if we do,” Green said.

After speaking out on the testing issue, Green has been banned from the state’s COVID-19 response task force….

read … Hawaii Doctors Battle State Health Department Over COVID-19 Testing

  *   *   *   *   *

Green Ouster Related to COVID-19 screening of Senators?

HTH March 25, 2020: … Dr. Scott Miscovich, a private physician on Oahu who is a senior adviser on Lt. Gov. Josh Green’s COVID-19 Task Force, said Tuesday he conducted the testing of several asymptomatic senators at the state capitol on Thursday after Sen. Clarence Nishihara tested positive.

“Bottom line is, the lieutenant governor alerted me that there was a positive, and there was a lot of concern, and he asked me, since I have the mobilization team, if I could mobilize. And I mobilized,” said Miscovich. “He didn’t order me to do it or anything like that.”…

Miscovich said the tests weren’t done on the basis of the senators’ influence and privilege. Rather, the decision to test was made based on their level of exposure to Nishihara, who tested positive after exhibiting symptoms of illness subsequent to a late February trip to Las Vegas, Miscovich said.

Those tested include Sen. Lorraine Inouye of Hilo, the Senate Transportation chairwoman, who tested negative; Senate President Ronald Kouchi of Kauai; and members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, on which Inouye sits.

Kouchi told Hawaii News Now on Tuesday morning he was still awaiting test results….

“Given the same set of circumstances, I would take the same actions with a homeless individual or a bank president.”…

The news website Honolulu Civil Beat — hours after the Tribune-Herald’s interview with Miscovich — reported Gov. David Ige ordered cabinet officials and others to not consult Green, a physician, on the administration’s coronavirus response. The article cited only anonymous sources, saying the officials who commented were in fear of jeopardizing their positions….

read … Task force doctor defends COVID-19 screening of senators

  *   *   *   *   *

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green Banned From State’s Virus Response Effort

CB March 24, 2020: … Several sources with direct knowledge of the state’s response to COVID-19 say Gov. David Ige has ordered his Cabinet officials and others to not consult Lt. Gov. Josh Green… He has also been told to leave press conferences involving the governor and the Hawaii Department of Health….

Green has made it no secret that he’s disappointed with the administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis, particularly with what he sees as the inadequacy of the Department of Health’s testing program.

“It’s a total fail,” he said last week. “We have to protect our people. We have to test those who are sick and every municipality across the country knows now we have to test and find where the disease is and test any contact cases and that’s the way to slow the spread of this disease.”…

They say Green’s background and outspokenness is seen as a threat to the governor and some of his Cabinet. Some suggest that politics is a factor, too, as Green is already running to replace the term-limited Ige in 2022. And he’s likely going to be running against Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, an Ige ally….

Leong also shared a statement from Ige that she said was posted on the governor’s official website and on social media:

The Lt. Governor is not banned from news conferences and meetings.

In this new COVID-19 reality, we are reinventing the way state government conducts business while implementing appropriate social distancing in meetings, news conferences and other activities.

These gatherings are now limited to no more than 10 people. Therefore, we are bringing in those who are most directly involved with specific topics that are being discussed at these meetings and news conferences.

Leong was asked why, if Green is still the liaison, is he not among the 10 people?

She replied, “We are bringing people to the table who are experts in the topics that are being discussed at specific news conferences and meetings.”

Green said in a statement, “All I care about right now is slowing the virus and saving lives.”

He added, “It would be hard for me to believe that any governor would remove their colleague from important responsibilities for doing that.”…

A Maui News reporter asked about Green’s conspicuous absence since he was the governor’s liaison on COVID-19 but hasn’t appeared in any press conferences.

Ige’s response: “As the president issued his presidential proclamation, we converted into the emergency operation center, where Kenneth Hara assumed incident command and the entire disaster preparedness structure went into effect.”…

read … Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green Banned From State’s Virus Response Effort

 

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