FSM Information Services
President Panuelo Meets with the Nation’s Governors to Discuss Social Distancing, Economic Stimulus, the COVID-19 Response Framework, & More
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On April 22nd, 2020, His Excellency David W. Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Honorable Yosiwo P. George, Vice President of the FSM, held a videoconference with the Honorable Henry S. Falan, Governor of the FSM State of Yap, the Honorable Johnson S. Elimo, Governor of the FSM State of Chuuk, the Honorable Carson K. Sigrah, Governor of the FSM State of Kosrae, and the Honorable Feliciano Perman, Lieutenant Governor of the FSM State of Pohnpei, to further unify the Nation’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic, and to, per the President’s Declaration of Public Health Emergency and Congressional Resolution 21-138, discuss the terms of the social distancing requirements and other safety precautions that shall be mandated, within 30 days, for the entire Nation.
Regarding the desire to achieve uniform social distancing mandates, the Governors advised the President, per his request, that they will be submitting their current health advisories and precautions, as well as their intentions in the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in their jurisdiction. Once received, the National Government will consolidate these advisories and precautions, with the goal being that the end result is a set of social distancing mandates the Nation’s leadership agree to abide by. “It’s crucial that we continue to stand together, and also crucial that our citizens know that they’re being treated fairly and equally whether they are in Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, or Kosrae,” President Panuelo said.
Several topics discussed in the meeting were with regards to updating the Governors on the current state of the Economic Stimulus Package, the FSM Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, the state of COVID-19 test kits and machines, and the state of incoming ventilators and other medical equipment and supplies.
President Panuelo noted that he would be signing the Economic Stimulus Package into law later in the afternoon and that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program will provide unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. More information on these programs will be issued to the public in the coming days and weeks.
The President noted that, at this time, each of the FSM States has COVID-19 testing machines and that virtual training on the use of devices is ongoing; much of this training began on April 21st and April 22nd.
Regarding ventilators and other crucial medical equipment, it was noted that ventilators are forthcoming. It was also described that Pohnpei State has, or will receive, a total of eighteen (18) ventilators, with Chuuk State to receive seventeen (17), Yap State to receive fourteen (14), and Kosrae State to receive ten (10). These totals include all National and State Government purchases, including donations from the Nation’s friends, allies, and development partners.
The National and State COVID-19 Task Forces, and other relevant State and National public servants, will continue to share information with each other with the goal of harmonizing the Nation’s response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.