Sun. 5/10 Daily COVID-19 Update


Column: Help hard-hit tourism workers with safe reopening of industry – Editorial by Eric Gill, published in Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 

Excerpt: “We’ve learned in this pandemic that the health of every person affects us all. Every hotel worker should have health care; every person should have health care. No worker should be forced back to work without pandemic safety precautions in place.”

‘Our life is in danger’: Unemployment hits 34% in Hawaii with no end in sight – USA Today. 

This includes an interview with Local 5 member Julie Gabot.

Excerpt: “For 32 years, Julie Gabot drove more than 80 miles round trip each day to work as a housekeeper at the Sheraton Waikiki, cleaning after tourists who enjoyed the resort’s infinity pool and beachfront views.

But after tourism across Hawaii shutdown because of the coronavirus virus, she was let go without severance. Her husband, who worked at the resort for 28 years, was out also out of a job. “

Hawaii homeowners, including super rich, try to tap COVID-19 small business aid – Honolulu Star-Advertiser. 

The condo board of the Waiea luxury condo in Kakaako applied for over $400,000 in PPP bailout loans, but they decided to drop the application before they got approval from the homeowners. According to the Star-Advertiser, part of the concern was about lost rental income and being unable to pay maintenance fees.

When developers prioritize building luxury condos instead of affordable housing, many of those condos are more like businesses than homes. And the idea that at least some of the board members initially wanted to get bailout money (funded by taxpayers) while laid-off working families (who paid those taxes) struggle to pay their rent, it may make one wonder what exactly is the benefit of allowing luxury condos to get built in our communities.

The Bailout Is Working — for the Rich – ProPublica. 

Excerpt: “If you’re looking for investors’ verdict on who has won the bailout, consider these returns: Shares of Apollo Group, the giant private equity firm, have soared 80% from their lows. The stock of Blackstone, another private equity behemoth, has risen 50%. The reason: Asset holders like Apollo and Blackstone — disproportionately the wealthiest and most influential — have been insured by the world’s most powerful central bank. This largess is boundless and without conditions.”

Apollo owns Diamond Resorts, which owns two Local 5 hotels: The Modern Honolulu and Kaanapali Beach Club. Blackstone owns one Local 5 hotel, Turtle Bay Resort.

Ige Balks At Proposal To Loan Money To Jobless In Limbo – Honolulu Civil Beat. 

Senator Laura Thielen proposed creating an emergency loan program so that people who have been waiting for unemployment insurance payments can get the money they need to survive as they continue to wait. 91,000 unemployment applications still have problems to be sorted out.

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 4.1M (+100k).  Deaths: 282.7(+2.7k).
USA: Cases: 1.33M (+30k).  Deaths: 79.5k (+800).  Total Tested: 8.9M (+200k).
Hawaii: Cases:  632 (+1).  Deaths: 17 (+0).  Hospitalized: 81 (+0). Recovered: 561.