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LETTERS for the Aug. 26 issue

By Staff | Aug 27, 2021

Lure tech workers to Maui

Our family spent the week of August 8th in “L Town.” (I don’t know if Lahaina is called that, but the “L” on top of the mountain is pretty cool.)

I followed the arguments for and against an economy based on tourism.

I visited the old courthouse by that weird tree and realized after looking at the history there that the whaling industry and the plantation work of sugar cane and pineapples is no longer viable.

On the one hand, it’s hard to understand the complaints of the locals about the tourist invasion when you live in such a lovely setting. On the other hand, it’s a legitimate complaint when people wonder why they should put up with everyone and their brother wanting to take up their space.

So, what’s the answer? It’s a gig world now; Maui should look to find that next big business like an Amazon or Microsoft. It should not be hard to lure workers in that field to the island. I wish you luck. Thanks for the hospitality.

RICKY FULTON, Omaha, Nebraska

Vaccinations bring a quicker end to viral diseases

Polio, which has been eradicated in the Americas, is a viral disease that is taken care of by a vaccine.

Short summary of polio and its vaccines: 1935 early vaccine, 1948 first tested, 1952 Salk vaccine, 1955 Salk vaccine suspended, 1955 Sabin vaccine, 1994 Polio eradicated in Americas, 1997 Salk vaccine reconsidered.

With all the advancements we have had in science and viral diseases, we have cut the time from discovery of virus to vaccine to nine months from 17 years.

Now if everyone gets their vaccinations, we can cut the eradication from 39 years to maybe less than two. That is, unless you like to wear a mask for another 15 years. I know I don’t. STEVEN B. ASHFIELD, Lahaina

Mahalo to the Tihada family

Na Kupuna O Maui recognizes the Tihada ‘ohana of West Maui for all they have done for the keiki of our community.

Their good works are overwhelming; our children have benefitted immensely. The results would fill volumes of pages in the book of master good deeds of the island.


Institute offers resources on vaccines and rights

Hundreds of calls per day… Maxed-out Zoom calls… Lawyers working overtime to handle requests… This is what were are experiencing right now at PJI relating to vaccine information requests, religious exemptions for school or work, etc…

It seems like we are all drinking from a fire hose with all the federal and local recommendations, mandates, orders, requirements, etc. As Americans, what can we do?

Churchrights.org provides free resources with easy and practical steps that you can take right now to understand your rights and create your own action plan. And there’s no lawyer-ese language here — just brief and relevant information written for people who are busy working, raising their children… living their lives!

Download resources today and share them with family and friends. Another beautiful thing about these vaccine resources is they are constantly updated, so even if you’ve downloaded them before, you’ll want to get this latest version. PJI’s excellent team of concerned lawyers have done all the work for you!

BRAD DACUS, Pacific Justice Institute

Gain-of-function virus research is too risky

Protect Nature Now released “Gain of Function Research & the Risk of the Next Pandemic” report (https://protectnaturenow.com/gain-of-function-whitepaper/). This prolific congressionally distributed report is calling for a permanent ban on gain-of-function research into potentially pandemic pathogens.

The purpose of this type of research is to engineer more pathogenic and/or transmissible variants of known pathogens to identify the key mutations required for the pathogen to achieve a pandemic potential. However, this research also comes with the potentially catastrophic risk of the accidental release of a deadly pathogen that could trigger a global pandemic.

This real threat to public health is why a moratorium on gain-of-function research was instituted in October 2014 in the U.S. However, it was lifted in December 2017. There are several reasons why this moratorium on gain-of-function research should be reintroduced as a permanent and wider ban.

Gain-of-function research is supposed to provide reliable information about key mutations that might give pathogens the potential to cause a pandemic. However, its predictive record is very mixed: the use of animal models shows increased pathogenicity or transmission in animals often does not apply when the pathogen interacts with humans.

This means that, so far, the results of gain-of-function research have been non-generalizable, unpredictable in different environments, and therefore are of minimal benefit.

Recent developments in alternative methods have allowed scientists to collect similar information as gain-of-function research without the risk of the accidental release of a potentially deadly pathogen.

This means that a ban on gain-of-function research would not impede scientific and technological progress but provide additional impetus for developing and refining these safe alternative methods.

Thank you so much for all your hard work in covering this topic!

KEVIN BROWN, Kaunakakai, Molokai