Tulsi Gabbard says she is “cautiously optimistic” after recent changes to Department of Health leadership

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Representative Tulsi Gabbard issued a statement saying she is “cautiously optimistic” after it was revealed that Dr. Sarah Park would be taking a leave of absence from her role as Hawai‘i Department of Health’s (DOH) Chief Epidemiologist.

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In the statement, Gabbard expressed her hopes for improved leadership within the DOH and more efficient contact tracing efforts.

“The public trust has been broken. New leaders in the Department of Health have the opportunity to begin to rebuild that trust by hiring and building a robust testing and tracing operation, and providing transparency to the people about the progress that’s being made. Every day we are losing our loved ones to this virus. We must do all we can to act urgently to defeat it. Allowing the status quo to continue will only result in more unnecessary sickness and death.”

Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. 

Dr. Park’s departure was announced just a day after Dr. Emily Roberson, who had been hired to fix the state’s contact tracing program. According to Representative Scott Saiki, Roberson cited frustrations with DOH leadership which included claims that Dr. Park blocked her efforts to hire more contact tracers.

For Representative Gabbard’s full statement, click here.

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