(BIVN) – President Donald Trump appears to be taking Hawaii’s false ballistic missile alert in stride, briefly answering media questions on the topic in West Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday.
“Well, that was a state thing,” Trump answered, “but we’re going to now get involved with them.”
After an Emergency Alert told Hawaii residents and visitors that an inbound missile was threatening the state and that everyone had to seek immediate shelter, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency took 38 minutes to officially reverse the false alarm. Officials later confirmed the cause of the false alarm was human error.
“On behalf of the State of Hawai‘i, I deeply apologize for this false alert that created stress, anxiety and fear of a crisis in our residents and guests,” stated Governor David Ige in a message issued Sunday. He promised the situation “will never happen again”.
“I love that they took responsibility,” Trump said in Florida. “They took total responsibility but we’re going to get involved. Their attitude, and their – what they want to do, I think it’s terrific. They took responsibility. They made a mistake.”
When asked what could be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again, Mr. Trump answered, “we hope it won’t happen again, but part of it is that people are on edge. But maybe, eventually, we’ll solve the problem, so they won’t have to be so on edge.”
That led to media questions on North Korea. “We’re gonna see what happens with North Korea,” Trump said. “We have great talks going on. The Olympics you know about. A lot of things can happen.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission is taking a tougher stance on Saturday’s incident in Hawaii.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a press release on Hawaii’s mistaken use of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts, which are implemented by the FCC and FEMA – the Federal Emergency Management Agency:
“The false emergency alert sent yesterday in Hawaii was absolutely unacceptable. It caused a wave of panic across the state—worsened by the 38-minute delay before a correction alert was issued. Moreover, false alerts undermine public confidence in the alerting system and thus reduce their effectiveness during real emergencies.
“The FCC’s investigation into this incident is well underway. We have been in close contact with federal and state officials, gathering the facts about how this false alert was issued. Based on the information we have collected so far, it appears that the government of Hawaii did not have reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert.
“Moving forward, we will focus on what steps need to be taken to prevent a similar incident from happening again. Federal, state, and local officials throughout the country need to work together to identify any vulnerabilities to false alerts and do what’s necessary to fix them. We also must ensure that corrections are issued immediately in the event that a false alert does go out.”