NO. 2020 – 41
URGING THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TO REPORT CURRENT COVID-19 STATISTICS (DISAGGREGATED BY INDIVIDUAL GEOGRAPHIC INSTALLATIONS AND SPECIFIC DATA TO IDENTIFY NATIVE HAWAIIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER MILITARY AND DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE POPULATIONS AFFECTED BY COVID-19) IN ORDER TO HELP PROTECT THE MILITARY COMMUNITIES AND ESPECIALLY THE LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT AND MILITARY INSTALLATIONS ARE LOCATED
WHEREAS, Hawai‘i hosts numerous military installations for the United States Indo-Pacific Command including USCG Station Maui, which is among the most active military installations run and operated by the United States Coast Guard; and
WHEREAS, on March 31, 2020, the United States Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered all commanders of the Department of Defense (DoD) installations world-wide to cease releasing publicly new COVID-19 statistical information; and
WHEREAS, at the time of this order, the number of infected personnel at these installations, which include all military bases was already 1,000; and
WHEREAS, although Secretary Esper intended that the order was to protect operational security at Department of Defense global installations, the responsibility to the neighboring communities is neglected as members of the military and their dependents actively engage with the communities at shopping areas, restaurants and common places for gathering; and
WHEREAS, although Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman stated the “Defense Department leaders worried adversaries could exploit such information, especially if the data showed the outbreak impacted U.S. nuclear forces or other critical units,” there are no means by which concern for the interacting local communities neighboring military installations is expressed, thus assuring the health and safety of said communities is not in jeopardy; and
WHEREAS, on O‘ahu alone, at which the numbers of infections as of August 2020 have begun to surge, the numbers are absent of the military population’s statistics which could also be in excess of 100; and
WHEREAS, per the DoD Defense Manpower Data Center, the total active Military population in the State of Hawai‘i is 36,620, and the Reserve Forces number 9,402, which does not include the families of the Military personnel living on base nor does it provide disaggregated data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations, subject to COVID19 infections; and
WHEREAS, although the DoD has released near-daily COVID-19 statistics on its website, the statistics are delayed and not disaggregated by base or even by State; and
WHEREAS, as of August 2020, the DoD reported on its website the cumulative (military, civilian DoD workers, dependents and military contractors) total cases was 43,634 with 1,056 hospitalizations, 22,235 recoveries and 72 deaths; and
WHEREAS, although the DoD’s website lists numerous memos indicating procedures to control the COVID spread, it is unclear what protocols are set to protect the neighboring communities adjacent to the military installations in which military personnel and their dependents interact; and
WHEREAS, whenever the aforesaid personnel and their dependents encounter the local neighboring communities, the communities are subject to any communicable sicknesses in their interactions; and
WHEREAS, even after the order to installation commanders to censor disaggregated COVID-19 information, and notwithstanding the many DoD memos calling for preventative methods with respect to trainings, meeting or other work-related gathering behaviors, several Hawai‘i news sources, as well as the State of Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources reported two extremely large gatherings off of military bases (at Mokulē‘ia, Ka‘ena Point, and Waimea Bay) by military personnel and their families during the Memorial Day Weekend, with each of the gatherings listing more than 200 participants; and
WHEREAS, not only were the gatherings in excess of the 10-person allowance rule established by the State and Hawai‘i and City and County of Honolulu, but also at that time, beaches were closed for any gatherings, and yet the 200+ participants disregarded the beach closures; and
WHEREAS, one might interpret that the blatant behavior in breaking the state and county laws on gathering demonstrates the belief that Military personnel who report to the Department of Defense and the federal government are exempt to state and county laws; and
WHEREAS, potentially unclear DoD COVID-19 protocols of quarantine could contribute to “super spreading” of the virus; and
WHEREAS, the Maui Council of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs adopted this resolution at its annual Council convention held virtually on August 15, 2020, and is forwarding the same to the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs to be considered as a resolution submitted by the Maui Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 61st Annual Convention held online, in the malama of Makali‘i and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu, this 22nd day of November 2020, urging the United States Department of Defense to report current COVID-19 statistics (disaggregated by individual geographic installations and specific data to identify Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander military and Department of Defense populations affected by COVID-19) in order to help protect the military communities and especially the local communities in which the government and military installations are located; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Department of Defense report this information to the State Department of Health and the State Department of Health report this information to the people of Hawai’i and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the United States Secretary of Defense, members of the Hawai‘i congressional delegation, Director at the State Department of Health, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned herby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Makaliʻi and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu on the 22nd day of November 2020, at the 61st Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held online.
Hailama V.K.K. Farden, President