Fri. 5/8/20: COVID-19 Daily Update


We added a guide on applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to our Local 5 Resources Page. Click here for the guide.

At the bottom of the guide is information on the DLIR’s new system that will allow claimants to certify their unemployment claims on designated days based on their last names. This will begin on Monday, May 11.


Today’s Facebook Live session featured Local 5 members Mark Kamahele (Sheraton Waikiki) and Bo Cortez (Princess Kaiulani), who did a live music session to promote our Local 5 Hardship Fund. Don’t forget to donate here: If you missed their live show, you can watch the recording here.

We are hosting Facebook Live sessions every Wednesday and Friday at 5pm. Stay tuned for more!


Missed a food distribution? Several more will be held this Saturday (Hawaii News Now, May 8, 2020)

On Saturday starting at 8:30am there will be four Salvation Army food distribution events: Oahu’s Polynesian Cultural Center, Maui’s Queen Kaahumanu Center and Big Island’s Hilo and Kailua-Kona Salvation Army Hilo Temple Corps locations.

In milestone, Hawaii reports no new COVID-19 cases for the first time in 8 weeks (Hawaii News Now, May 8, 2020)

Authorities said while the development is positive, residents shouldn’t grow complacent.

State Pays Out $140,300,082 in unemployment benefits, shares updates about current process (KHON, May 8, 2020)

The article lists a timeline of logistical steps already taken to upgrade the DLIR’s unemployment processing capabilities.

New requirements ahead for airline passengers arriving in Hawaii (Star Advertiser, May 8, 2020)

The DOT is in the process of implementing a stricter visitor airport arrival form that will help tracking of visitors.  The new form will require a departure date, contact information for the entire traveling party; also there will be new screening checkpoints for travelers to pass through at the airport.

VIDEO: Mayor Kirk Caldwell criticizes State Department of Health for refusing testing offers (Star Advertiser, May 8, 2020)

Caldwell and other health professionals are criticizing the state Health Dept. and Ige for not providing more COVID testing and rejecting the City’s offer to help.  Caldwell says again that contact tracing and wide spread testing are need to be widely in place to safely reopen the state and criticized the state for not doing more contact tracing training if there’s a second wave or surge.

US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7% (AP, May 8, 2020)

Due to government errors and the Labor Department measures the job market, the true picture is likely worse. By some calculations, the unemployment rate stands at 23.6%, not far from the Depression peak of nearly 25%.

Oops, they did it again: Trump’s refusal to wear a mask as a signal to fascism (Salon, May 8, 2020)

The subtitle of the article is “Trump’s refusal to wear a mask isn’t just vanity — it’s also a fascist rejection of the duty to protect others”.  The “rejection of the duty to protect others” part is worth thinking about when trying to understand the difference in moral values that motivate the people who are doing their part and those who angrily refuse to wear face masks or follow health guidelines.  The rest of the article is an interesting armchair analysis of the fascist mindset.

The Pandemic Has Laid Bare the Moral Chaos at the Heart of Modern Conservative Politics (Esquire, May 8, 2020)

The article covers a few examples of Republican apathy and how they frame their rhetoric to express and reinforce those views.

For example, US Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana said, “Well, people in hell want ice water too,” when asked about people on unemployment receiving more economic relief.  The interesting revelation of this quote is the implication that people on unemployment benefits are equated to people in hell, that they are sinners, immoral and deserving of the pain and suffering as punishment for their sins (i.e. being poor).

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 3.93M (+90k).  Deaths: 274(+5k)

USA: Cases: 1.28M (+30k).  Deaths: 77.1k (+1.5k).  Total Tested: 8.4M (+300k)

Hawaii: Cases:  629 (+0).  Deaths: 17 (+0).  Hospitalized: 81 (+7). Recovered: 565*