'Close the state down’: Critics question Ige’s approach to coronavirus

Published: Mar. 22, 2020 at 11:11 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 22, 2020 at 11:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Maui Mayor Mike Victorino issued stay-at-home orders for residents, Gov. David Ige said he plans to issue a statewide plan after a legal review.

But lawmakers and former lawmakers said he should have issued that order already.

“We need to shut this thing down. We cannot have this wait-and-watch attitude. We need to close the state down," said former Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

House Speaker Scott Saiki added: “All of the experts tell us the best way to prevent that is to have stay in place orders for the general public."

He added, “All of the models from the mainland show that if the government imposes restrictions on the public then you can contain the spread, you can minimize the spread.”

Abercrombie also blasted Ige’s 14-day quarantine plan for all travelers, saying it won’t stop the spread of the virus.

He called for mass testing of local residents like the one conducted in Kakaako on Saturday.

“We absolutely must have universal testing,” he said.

“We have to find out where it is, and who has it and then we have to act accordingly to make sure it isn’t spread.”

A number of residents agree.

“I do believe the governor did not go far enough," said Karen Antill, of Waikiki. “I think the governor needs to put a mandatory stop on all on non-essential travel.”

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