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Pacific Islanders

Hawaii vaccine timeline graphic
Honolulu, HAWAII — As Hawaii continues its mass vaccination effort, advocates worry that Pacific Islander communities don’t have adequate access to vaccines. Non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders – particularly Chuukese, Marshallese and Samoan communities — make up 23% of Hawaii’s coronavirus cases, even...
Office of Hawaiian Affairs entrance
Honolulu, HAWAII — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs wants the state to improve its data collection for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. A resolution backed by OHA calls for several public agencies, including county police departments, to release disaggregated data on Native Hawaiian and...
Manumalo Ala’ilima
Portland, OREGON — In June, Manumalo Ala’ilima got a call from a family member that their brother was hospitalized for Covid-19. Ala’ilima lives in Portland, Oregon, while the rest of their family — some of whom also contracted the virus — live in Southern California. For a while, Ala’ilima was...
Graph of Hawaii’s COVID-19 cases by race depicted over time.
Honolulu, HAWAII — Pacific Islanders, excluding Native Hawaiians, are more than twice as likely to be killed or hospitalized by the coronavirus in Hawaii than other racial and ethnic groups after adjusting for age and gender, according to newly released data from the state Health Department. The...
Mikaele Oloa who creates popular TikTok videos
PACIFIC ISLANDS — More than 58,000 TikTok users have watched Mikaele Oloa slice a banana leaf to make an ula laufa'i, a traditional Samoan necklace. The 29-year-old has also filmed himself performing a fire knife dance called the siva afi, inspiring some of his followers to try out the Samoan...
Headrick Hunkin during a zoom town hall video grab
Honolulu, Hawaii — Leaders of a Pacific Islander advocacy group desperate for help fighting the virus joined Lieutenant Governor Josh Green for a Zoom town hall meeting Thursday. The group, made up of Micronesians, Samoans, and Tongans have been hardest hit and say they’ve been ignored. The...
Coronavirus logo
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA — COVID-19 has taken an especially steep toll on communities of color. In LA County, the vast majority of cases and deaths are among Latinos. However, the highest rate of infection among any racial or ethnic group is taking place among LA’s Pacific Islander community. They’...
 Salt Lake City, Utah skyline with mountains in the background
Salt Lake City, UTAH — There has been an upswing in Covid-19 infections among Pacific Islanders in the American state of Utah. The state is home to the largest Pacific Island community on the United States mainland - it is made up mostly of Polynesians but also includes a significant number of...
Joseph Keawe’aimoku Kaholokula
Honolulu, HAWAII — About two weeks ago, an Arkansas resident who worked at a Tyson Foods factory died of COVID-19. The death was one of tens of thousands across the nation due to the coronavirus pandemic. But to Melisa Laelan, the loss was especially worrisome. That’s because the person who died...
Pastor Pausa Thompson
Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA — No other group in California is dying from the coronavirus at a higher rate than Pacific Islanders — a painful statistic that's shaking up tight-knit communities of Samoans, Tongans and Native Hawaiians up and down the state.  And no other hub has been worse-hit than Los...

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