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Local company submits proposal for CARES funding for American Samoa

Calumet president, John Wasko
Sources: Calumet Industrial Service, SN reports

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — At least one private company in the territory, Calumet Industrial Service, a long time corporate and industrial publisher, has taken the initiative to procure Coronavirus stimulus money from the federally funded two trillion dollar CARES Act.

In a press statement, Calumet president, John Wasko told local media that the company is taking the private-public partnership route to secure $37 million dollars for the territory. (Wasko is also a Hope Dialysis Center board member.)

"President Trump has asked General Motors, private banks and mortgage companies to solve the Coronavirus crisis besieging the nation at this moment. We feel the private sector is best positioned to do the same here." He said that provision of anti-virus medical professionals, supplies and equipment require a rapid response and a thorough knowledge of chain of supply logistics. He added that Calumet is working with Lehmanbush for rapid supply deliveries.

 (According to its website, Lehmanbush is a China-based investment and project management consulting firm.

"In order to get [ahead] of the virus infection rate before our medical care facilities are overwhelmed strong steps are required," Wasko said.

The Calumet proposal includes 30 teams of medical professionals making home visits to determine persons with virus symptoms, persons at high risk for non-communicable and communicable disease and persons who may have had contact with other infected persons.

In addition, Wasko added, American Samoa must prepare now for further pandemics such as mutated strains of coronavirus, Zika and dengue fever viruses.

According to Calumet, the proposal has been submitted to the office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata. Samoa News contacted the Congresswoman for comments and while we did not receive anything specific to the Calumet proposal, her office issued a release detailing updates on CARE Act benefits for American Samoa.  See it elsewhere in this issue.


American Samoa has three immediate concerns to combat the spread of the corona virus in the territory and the likely occurrence of future contagious pandemics;

1    95% of the population, according to World Health Organization data, is at “high risk” because of diabetes and obesity of contracting the virus due to suppressed immune systems.

2    LBJ hospital is understaffed to treat a pandemic disease outbreak

3    LBJ does not have sufficient patient bed capacity to treat a pandemic disease outbreak

The proposal addresses each critical issue confronting the American Samoa health care system;

1    Conduct an immediate island wide, home-to-home health survey to locate persons symptomatic of the virus and identify all persons with suppressed immune systems highly likely to contract the virus.

2    Immediately provide sufficient nurses to care for infected patients and conduct the home-to-home health survey.

3    Immediately provide emergency hospitalization resources by sequestering available hotel rooms and other available housing fitted out for emergency treatment.

4    Plan a emergency action plan for future contagious viral outbreaks with emergency staffing, supplies, equipment and logistical support.

The scope of work plan succeeds by caring for immediate patients, identifying at-risk persons and plans to combat future contagious pandemic viruses such as Zika, Dengue fevers and other corona virus like pandemics.

As a private/public sector plan and budget, CARES funding would be deposited directly into the Territorial Bank of American Samoa trust account under the management and control of bank president, Mr. Dave Buehler.

Total amount requested: $37,217,350.