Mayor Mitch Roth was being evaluated by doctors and Managing Director Lee Lord has taken over as acting mayor after Roth had a stent implanted after suffering chest pain Saturday evening, according to a news release Sunday morning.
“I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and prayers at this time,” Roth said. “I have had excellent treatment from the moment I began to feel discomfort, and would especially like to thank our Hawaii County first responders for their adept response and care. My wife Noriko and I look forward to a speedy recovery and are confident that Lee will do a phenomenal job as acting mayor.”
Roth was taken to the North Hawaii Community Hospital last night and later transported to the Hilo Medical Center.
“I look forward to representing you honestly and with integrity in the absence of Mayor Roth,” Lord. “My wife Linda and I are praying for a speedy recovery for Mitch and look forward to his return.”
The community, including elected officials and the public, took the time Sunday to send well wishes to the mayor, who was sworn into office on Dec. 7, 2020.
U.S. Rep. Kaiali‘i Kahele (D-Hawaii) in a statement issued Sunday afternoon said he extended his prayers to Roth for a “full and speedy recovery.”
“I want to thank the doctors and staff of the North Hawaii Community Hospital as well as the Hilo Medical Center for their quick actions to aid Mayor Roth. The Hilo Medical Center’s interventional cardiology program and cardiac catheterization laboratory provides crucial care for those in need. We are deeply grateful for the important life saving work they do every day,” he said.
State Sen. Dru Kanuha (D-Kona, Ka‘u) said his ohana also continues to send prayers, thanking medical professionals for their care of Roth.
“Mayor Mitch Roth is a longtime colleague and public servant, and has so much aloha for the people of Hawaii Island. Our thoughts are with you, your wife Noriko, and the rest of the Roth ohana. Looking forward to a full and speedy recovery, and to working together again very soon,” said Kanuha, a former Hawaii County Council member who represented Kona for three terms.
Hawaii County Council Chairwoman Maile David, who represents South Kona, said she was informed of the mayor’s health condition early Sunday. She sent him a text and was “sincerely touched” when Roth reached out to her to thank her for her concern.
“I told him that I know he was extremely busy these past few weeks trying to hit the ground running but that right now the most important thing is his health and that he needs to take as much time as necessary to get well completely so he can continue his good work. For now I said his number one priority is his health and his ‘ohana,” David said adding she conveyed to Roth that he has “an excellent team that can cover for him while he gets well.”