(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi County Council wants to stop travel into the State of Hawai‘i during the COVID-19 pandemic, and voted on Wednesday to pass a resolution urging the President of the United States to do so.
Resolution 572-20, introduced by all councilmembers, urges President Donald Trump to issue a ban on all non-essential travel to the State of Hawai‘i until April 30, 2020, “to help reduce the COVID-19 infection rate and ease the burden on our already strained healthcare, housing, food, medicine, and dry goods resources.”
Mayor Harry Kim does not favor such a ban. Governor David Ige also said he thinks such a request would be a waste of time, based on conversations he says he has had with federal officials.
Here is the full text of the council resolution:
A RESOLUTION URGING THE HONORABLE PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP TO ISSUE A BAN ON ALL NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO THE STATE OF HAWAII UNTIL APRIL 30, 2020, TO HELP REDUCE THE COVID-19 INFECTION RATE AND EASE THE BURDEN ON OUR ALREADY STRAINED HEALTHCARE, HOUSING, FOOD, MEDICINE, AND DRY GOODS RESOURCES.
WHEREAS, on April 1, 2020, City and County of Honolulu Mayor Kirk W. Caldwell submitted a letter to United States President Donald J. Trump requesting that all non-essential travel to the State of Hawaiʻi be banned until April 30, 2020 (Exhibit A); and
WHEREAS, Mayor Caldwell’ s letter was co- signed by Maui County Mayor Michael P. Victorino and Kauaʻi County Mayor Derek S. K. Kawakami; and
WHEREAS, within the letter, Mayor Caldwell asserts that “domestic and international airlines have dramatically reduced round-trip airfares to Hawaiʻi, which has and will continue to encourage people to risk travelling to Hawaiʻi — especially those who otherwise may not have been able to afford to come.”; and
WHEREAS, those who travel to Hawaiʻi increase the risk of spreading the COVID- 19 disease to residents and others who are currently in the State of Hawaiʻi, and also increase the existing strain on local resources, such as hotels, homeless shelters, hospitals, and stores with limited inventory; and
WHEREAS, Mayor Caldwell’ s request for a travel ban includes an exemption for employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited, to, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply; and
WHEREAS, COVID- 19 infection rates have increased 150% between March 24, 2020, and March 31, 2020, and within that timeframe, the State of Hawaiʻi suffered its first fatality attributed to COVID- 19; and
WHEREAS, the County Council finds that the assertions and perspectives included in Mayor Caldwell’s letter are sensible and accurate and that all reasonable measures to reduce the spread of COVID- 19 and conserve our limited resources must be employed; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII that it hereby urges the Honorable President Donald J. Trump to issue a ban on all non-essential travel to the State of Hawaiʻi until April 30, 2020.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be sent to the Honorable President Donald J. Trump