Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi is quiet, isolating himself from uncomfortable questionss by eTurboNews.
Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO John De Fries and Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association CEO Mufi Hannemann have been avoiding questions ever since COVID-19 became an issue for the Hawaii visitor industry.
COVID-19 is out of control in Hawaii, but tourism goes with the flow. Tourism leaders have nothing to say to visitors. Such visitors should be getting more worried by the day. This worry is met with silence by those that had been elected to lead.
Silence is a face-saving response known in Asian cultures, which means PR business is as usual in Hawaii.
Six days ago, this publication reported the record number ever recorded of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii. This number is now the second-highest increase, and a new record today means another victory for the virus.
Considering 53.7% of the population in Hawaii are now fully vaccinated, and 71.7% received at least one shot of Pfizer or Moderna, the new infections are even more alarming since almost all are among the 46.3% not yet fully vaccinated people. Even during the worst time of the pandemic, such numbers were not seen in the state.
Even when tourism and the economy came to a halt before October 15 last year, such infection numbers were not even close to what Hawaii is experiencing now.
One can argue only 8 cases could be associated to travel yesterday, but what is not communicated is that only 61 cases could be associated with community outbreaks, but the hundreds of additional cases, making the majority of all cases are of unknown reason.
As it has been throughout the crisis, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is quiet, and now this silence is echoed by Governor Ige, the Mayors, and everyone else in charge.
Close to 30,000 visitors are arriving in Hawaii every single day, restaurants are open, masks and social distancing seem to be less important.
Ironically, one could say the economy took the lead over health, but the Hawaii Tourism Authority has been busy finding ways to discourage mass tourism.
The reason for that is not COVID-19 but the protection of cultural issues and climate change.
In the latest COVID-19 cases report from the Government of the Aloha State, 655 new Hawaii COVID-19 cases bring the total to 44,617 (up 1.4% from the previous day). This is the highest number of cases recorded in one day yet.
According to Lt. Gov. Josh Green, this surging is due to the Delta Variant. As a direct result, hospitalizations are growing as well with today finding 166 being treated in a hospital, a positivity rate of 6.89%.
To date, 1,883,809 COVID-19 tests have been conducted with 42,439 resulting in a positive reading and marking today’s positivity rate at 6.9%.
Currently, the average daily case is 437.6. There were a total of 4,391 cases reported in the past 14 days. Total deaths to date are 538 (1.2%).
The breakdown of today’s cases are:
Hawaii County: 131
Maui County: 69
Kauai County: 7
So far the world is all in order. Beaches, hotels, and flights are full. Visitors are not often seen wearing masks and are having a great time on the beach, in restaurants, the pool, nightclubs, and attractions.
Anyone residing in the Waikiki region hears ambulance sirens now constantly 24/7, hospital beds are filling up, but due to the large number of vaccinated people, the death rate, fortunately, remains fairly low.
WIll there be any restrictions in the pipeline? Not likely, according to indications by Governor Ige.