On February 15, 2011, several sources contacted the Carroll Cox Show providing spotty information  that  student and faculty members at the Job Corp facility in Waimanalo had been taken ill with the flu and it was possible at least one, if not  more, were infected with the H1N1 virus.  After several phone calls to family and friends of the students and staff,  we learned, indirectly, that a female staff member  may have contracted the H1N1 flu virus.   Based on that information, we contacted the State Department of Health (DOH) for questioning.    See the attached letter for our list of questions.  Although our questions  were  simple,  we were met with cover up and delays by the DOH administrator and  staff.  We still have not received an answer.   (Link here for letter and response).

Just to share with you, here is what we experienced in trying to find out the truth about this very serious matter and its possible threat to  public health.  I first phoned Ms. Loretta Fuddy, acting director of the DOH.  I was told she was in but was put on hold.  The secretary returned and  asked who was calling.  I told her "The Carroll Cox Show".   I was put on hold again, then told she was busy.   Although I left my name and number,  and asked that she call me back  before the  end of the day,  I did not receive  a call back.   I called again and was informed my request had been referred to Dr. Sarah Park of the DOH.    I was  given Dr. Park's number and called her.  I was told she was out sick but might return tomorrow and would call me back when she returned. 

I then asked to speak to someone else because I was posting the story  on my website tonight.   I was told to talk to Jett or Jeff (name not clear).   I was transferred to his number but received a recorded message saying he was not in.   I then called Ms. Suzanne Roig-Gordon.  I spoke with her and forwarded a copy of my questions.  Later that afternoon, after not receiving any more phone calls, I received an email from Roig-Gordon and Janice Okubo.    Ms. Okubo would not disclose any names (nor was she expected to do so).  But , she also refused to confirm or deny whether the DOH was aware of, had diagnosed,  or knew anything else about the case.   

We do respect the rules of privacy, but we believe these stalling tactics and the DOH's blatant disregard for public awareness and safety only exposes the public to greater risk.  At minimum,  any case of H1N1 should be disclosed and the public made aware of possible exposure. 

Regrettably we are posting this story without any clear answers or conclusion to the matter.  We will continue to pursue the issue and hopefully we will soon find an answer.   Is this the new transparency that Governor Abercrombie and Schatz administration promised?

It should also be noted, the Job Corp facility in Waimanalo has had a number of other concerns raised about its health and safety,  and its employment or labor practices.   Recently we featured a story regarding the Job Corp's questionable firing of Mrs. Ethel Minn (link to our show broadcast  11/7/10 about this subject).