Maui’s top public health official wants an apology from state lawmakers

Although state officials dismissed complaints against Maui's top public health official, he wants more.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 6:30 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 4, 2022 at 6:37 PM HST
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WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui’s top public health official says he is still waiting for an apology from state leaders who complained about his controversial coronavirus statements in the early days of the pandemic.

Dr. Lorrin Pang says it time for his critics to say they are sorry.

“I’ve never been apologize to, not by the legislature who took forward Senator Baker’s accusations, not by anybody,” said Pang.

Pang faced major backlash last year when he did not condemn controversial COVID-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

Although state officials dismissed complaints against him in March, Pang wants more.

“Oh, it’s over now. You were cleared. No!” Pang said.

A strong critic of Pang was Maui’s senior senator.

“He has violated the very oath that he should have taken when he got his degree. He definitely has violated the trust of everyone who might think, because he is the district health officer of Maui, that he knows what he is talking about,” said State Sen. Rosalyn Baker in August of 2021.

State and federal health leaders have said that neither of those drugs should be used to treat COVID.

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association about coronavirus is followed by a comment from Pang.

Pang says having his comment published in the nation’s most prestigious medical research journal vindicates his reputation as a public health doctor and scientist.

“What I’ve tried to say nine months ago, before I was asked to be quiet because of disinformation, it is now embedded in JAMA,” he said.

Pang, a former advisor to the World Health Organization, says it’s more than just pointing fingers about who is right and who is wrong.

“Can we discuss this in the open without threats to our licenses?” he asked. “Is this the end of open discourse? For science as we know it?”

Pang says it is about speaking up for what he believes in.

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