Young Brothers to stop accepting ‘nonessential’ cargo

Here are some of Hawaii’s other COVID-19 related announcements from Thursday.

Shipper to stop taking nonessential cargo

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To ensure uninterrupted service to all ports, Young Brothers said it is “required to take further steps to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees.”

Starting Monday, March 30, the shipping company said it will not be able to accept “nonessential” cargo.

Nonessential cargo includes privately-owned vehicles, dry mixed cargo and less than a container load of livestock shipments.

The company said it will continue to accept “essential,” noncontainerized cargo.

“Essential” cargo includes food, water and other household consumer products for retail stores, all household consumer products, medical supplies and equipment for hospitals and to care for those in need, educational supplies, first responder vehicles, public utilities vehicles and equipment and construction supplies and equipment.

Those with questions about essential vs. nonessential cargo should call their local port office.

This temporary restriction allows Young Brothers to minimize physical contact between employees and customers, expedite the loading and unloading of essential cargo at all neighbor island ports and ensure the shipper will maintain uninterrupted service.

The company also asked that all of its customers practice safe social distancing measures when interacting with Young Brothers employees.

For more information, visit https://youngbrothershawaii.com/covid-19.

AGs: Lift ban on fetal tissue research

Hawaii’s attorney general joined a coalition of 15 attorneys general led by California in sending a letter to President Donald Trump and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that calls for the administration to end its research ban on fetal tissue to aid the nation’s medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGs argue that this exemption could help scientists develop vaccines and study the virus’ impacts on pregnant women and children.

“A better understanding of COVID-19 is critical to stopping the spread,” said Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors. “With the states doing everything they can to flatten the curve, the federal administration needs to do everything it can so that scientists and medical professionals are able to find solutions.”

Scientists at the National Institute of Health who are working on potential therapies for COVID-19 have appealed to the administration for permission to work on fetal tissue, arguing the current ban hampers the nation’s ability to address COVID-19.

Research using fetal tissue has led to the development of other vaccines such as those for polio, rubella and measles.

According to the American Medical Association, “fetal tissue has also been used to study the mechanism of viral infections and to diagnose viral infections and inherited diseases, as well as to develop transplant therapies” — work that is pertinent to the current COVID-19 crisis.

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The attorneys general argue that the ban impedes necessary research efforts “during this unprecedented public health crisis.”

In sending the letter, Connors joins the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maine, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

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