Maui health officer responds to critics accusing him of promoting COVID misinformation

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii legislative leaders sent a letter to Gov. David Ige on Wednesday, Aug. 25, that sought the immediate removal of Dr. Lorrin Pang from his position as head of the Maui District Health Office.

According to the letter, Dr. Pang had been spreading “false, misleading, and outright dangerous information about the ongoing pandemic,” through a group that he co-founded called the Pono Coalition for Informed Consent (PCIC).

Legislative leaders who signed the letter, including House Speaker Scott K. Saiki and Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, said Dr. Pang’s role in the PCIC compromised his position as the lead public health official for the Maui district.

The letter, in part, reads:

“His involvement and endorsement of PCIC directly conflicts with the guidance of the Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and generally accepted standards of medical practice.”

Below is the letter from the House and Senate Leaders to Gov. David Ige.

Dr. Pang released his own letter on Thursday, Aug. 26, in response to his critics that first stated he is pro-vaccine and has overseen the administration of tens of thousands of shots.

On his involvement in the PCIC, Dr. Pang said he entered the coalition as a “co-founder” to represent the medical science side of a public forum for conversation. The other side, represented by Dr. Travis, addresses the spectrum of concerns and arguments.

“We agreed to listen to each other in a civil way, asking those with more inflammatory conduct to take a back seat,” Dr. Pang wrote in his letter. “Then other doctors from Maui and the mainland participated.”

The letter also addresses his position on hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin — he agreed with the FDA that it could prove harmful.

Read his full statement below:

Find more COVID-19 news: cases, vaccinations on our Coronavirus News page

Dr. Pang ended his letter with a new report of a “very bad variant” emerging from Vietnam with “very high viral levels” in breakthrough cases. There are no reported cases of the variant in Hawaii.

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