Fono takes a COVID-19 recess

The Fono is now on recess for just over four weeks.

Both the House and Senate approved a House concurrent resolution this morning adjourning the Third Regular Session of the 36th Legislature for 34 calendar days.

This comes after Governor Lolo Moliga wrote to the Fono leaders recommending that since COVID- 19 seems to “target the elderly and the propagation speed is high in closed quarters” he recommends the suspension or closure of the legislative session for the duration of the emergency declaration to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

The governor said that as leaders of the territory “we are morally and ethically obligated to safeguard the lives of our people and not to expose them to harm or danger.”

He said the most salient and effective option to contain the spread of the coronavirus is social distancing and most of the embargoed activities in the declaration are designed to advance this recommendation.

The House convened at 8 this morning and passed the resolution for an early session adjournment and then sent the measure to the Senate which also passed it.

The measure states, “As the territory joins the world in the fight against the threat and spread of the COVID-19 virus the Legislature wishes to comply with the government’s advisory and restrictions for government workers and prevent the spread of the virus.

It also states “many legislators are part of groups who are mandated to remain at home to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.

“It would be prudent to recess until health officials and the government deem it safe for full work schedules and permit age groups to return to school, work and have social gatherings.”

This would be the second recess for the current Fono session.


2 Comments

  1. Concerned Citizen

    Really, while American Samoa goes through a crisis, legislators go on vacation. You were elected to legislate and serve the AS people instead you abandon us. You have an obligation to serve, to find legislative ways to help us through this time of emergency. The Chamber of Commerce recommended numerous ways the Fono could act to protect American Samoa and no action has been taken. You should return to your offices and generate legislation to stimulate our economy and protect our people; not return to your homes and hide in the face of crisis. An imperfect plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed a month from now.

    Reply
  2. Ou soo

    There is already a plan in place. The Governor ordered the legislative branch to shut it down and to reconvene when the emergency declaration has expired. Ea? Did you think they were superheroes, immune to the COVID-19? First you stomp on them and then you want them to risk their lives and continue to be in session while the rest of the island takes the proper precautions? Just because they are not actually "in the Maota", doesn’t mean they are sleeping their arses away. There is work they are doing for their communities. Things you don’t know about, things you don’t see. All you see is what is posted online. Goggle your eyes and mask your mouth. Put on PPE and be part of the solution in this crisis, not the ever festering problem.
    Their "offices" as you put it, places them elbow to elbow to one another. A violation of the "6ft social distancing" requirement. For all we know, they could be working online! Learn how to be truly concerned, citizen. Stop barking for free all the time.

    Reply

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