Yes, it probably would be appropriate to leave the space blank after “Legacy” in the Wikipedia biography when Gov. David Ige’s final term ends in 2022.
If I were a permitted Wikipedia editor I’d add “failed to quickly act to curtail Covid-19 infections in his home state of Hawaii.”
* He did not shut down quick enough, or long enough once we did.
* He allowed too many shutdown exemptions. I even had screens installed by an exempt company. That’s “essential”? Is all construction essential, like the spec-house going up behind me? And if we have grocery stores, why do we need convenience stores and those small liquor stores?
* He did not ramp up contact tracing back when infections were just a few per day.
* He had a myriad of people throwing in their two cents at his Covid news conferences, which was like asking us to vote on which one we thought was was right. We needed a single, authoritative, voice.
* Command and control became a mess with the eventual resignation of the health director and squabbling within that critical department about who ran what.
* His voice timbre and read-the-script style projected tentativeness. We sensed that either Josh Green or Kirk Caldwell was really in charge. Ige is no Mario Cuomo.
* He allowed “voluntary” quarantine with few or no inspections to insure that incoming people were staying indoors rather than beaching or shopping at exempt Walmart, always jammed with customers maintaining about 2 feet of social distancing.
My daughter visited us from her current residence in Australia and that gave me a chance to compare what’s been done there and specifically in the Australian Capital Territory of Canberra.
No one hasever called or come by to check if she were complying here. In Canberra, where she also quarantines after travel, someone calls daily and police visit daily at random times to make sure she is in-house. You need special permission to leave or enter Australia. Canberra in the Australia Capital Territory has had negligible cases since April [see chart below for tiny red dots representing cases], none right now, and masks are not required.
Australia has one big advantage over us. It can ban travel. Our constitution gives us the right to travel between states. But we could have made coming into Hawaii very onerous with enforced quarantines in guarded hotels and charging each person for that 14-day stay. We didn’t. We made coming here easy.
This failure of great governance would not be so bad if it were not that we’ve had three no-legacy governors in a row — Linda Lingle, Neil Abercrombie, and now Ige. Some would give Ige a checkmark for his goal of renewable energy, but that’s a long way off and not assured. The PUC recently killed the Hu Honua Bioenergy plan to burn renewable wood for electricity. But even that would have required enormous amounts of precious water to cool down the burn ovens.
Who will step up next? We know a couple. There will be others.
We need to do better vetting next time before we vote.