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Senate looks forward to update on status of repatriated residents now in quarantine

ASG Treasurer Malemo L. Tausaga

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Senate Hospital/Public Health Committee chairman, Sen. Satele Galu Satele says he will wait for at few more days, at least a week, before requesting an update report from the government on the first repatriation flight so that senators would be informed.

The repatriation flight with 159 passengers — all testing negative for the COVID-19 virus three times before boarding the plane in Honolulu — arrived Monday and are currently quarantined for 14-days at the Tradewinds Hotel, with strict security at the compound.

Since the first flight there have been public inquiries as to the latest update on the passengers, who are monitored by Health Department (DoH) staff.

During yesterday’s Senate session, Sen. Muagututi’a Tauoa requested a report from the COVID-19 Task Force or the government on the first repatriation flight. He said it’s “very clear” at this point that “air service” between Honolulu and Pago Pago has opened, as there will be more repatriation flights in the future.

Muagututi’a points out that this is a serious issue — referring to the repatriation flights and the virus — and the Senate should be presented the latest update on the passengers — whether anyone is infected with the virus — and other needed information.

Satele agreed with Muagututi’a that the Senate needs a report but said that his committee will wait for a few days more — or at least 7-days — before requesting an update.

Satele is among lawmakers who have serious reservations over repatriation of American Samoa residents stranded across the US when there is a continued spike in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths reported in the U.S.


Also during yesterday’s session, the governor’s nomination of ASG Treasurer Malemo L. Tausaga to the government’s American Samoa Economic Development Authority (ASEDA) board of directors was introduced.

The nomination is assigned to the Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee, which will hold a confirmation hearing next week.

Malemo’s “insight as the Treasurer... will be an asset to the board in executive objectives that will drive our economic development forward,” said Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga in his nomination letter to Fono leaders.

The ASEDA law requires that one of the board members is the ASG Treasurer and Malemo will take over the now vacant post previously held by former ASG Treasurer Ueligitone Tonumaipe’a.