Council chair criticizes speakers for promoting ‘dangerous views’ about COVID

The speakers were invited to Honolulu Hale by Councilmember Andria Tupola.
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 6:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters blasted several speakers Tuesday for promoting what he called “dangerous views” about COVID treatments.

The speakers were invited to Honolulu Hale by Councilmember Andria Tupola, who opposes the city’s vaccine mandate.

During a meeting of the Council’s Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs on Tuesday, Waters singled out one of the speakers ― a mainland statistician who touted vitamins and minerals ― for pushing unsafe practices.

“I actually think what this person is testifying to is actually dangerous and irresponsible,” said Waters.

The mainland speakers include Mark Crawford, the statistician, Dr. Robert Malone of Virginia, who has been critical of the vaccine’s effectiveness, and Dr. Robin Armstrong, of Texas, who advocates the use of monoclonal antibodies.

“I just want to make clear that what this person is testifying to ― and for that matter Dr. Armstrong or even Dr. Malone ― is not something the Council as a body is endorsing, is supporting or is in any way legitimizing.”

But City Councilmember Heidi Tsuneyoshi disagreed.

“I don’t see how it’s dangerous to just give people information on how to better their own health and wellness,” she said.

Committee Chair Andria Tupola defended her choice of speakers, saying the mandates have outlived their usefulness.

She also urged the city not extend or issue any more emergency orders without first getting community input.

“It is contrary to our democracy for any one individual to have unilateral authority to suspend laws indefinitely for over a year and a half without a mechanism for public input and review,” Tupola said.

Experts say the vaccine may be less effective against the delta variant but it has reduced transmission of the virus and protected many from serious illness.

They add that the vast majority of recent deaths have been unvaccinated people.

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