Update: Lolo's illness more serious than reported
Radio New Zealand is reporting the medical situation of the American Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, 64, is more serious than officials reported yesterday. Sources in Washington DC have confirmed that Lolo had a heart procedure at George Washington University Hospital, they say.
The information was released in a closed-door meeting of the White Group on insular areas yesterday and later confirmed by attendees.
Other sources close to the Governor say doctors first wanted to adjust his blood pressure medication but then decided after further examination, that he needed a heart procedure.
Governor Lolo was still in hospital this morning but is expected to be released later in the day or tomorrow.
According to information provided by the governor's office yesterday , Gov. Lolo is recovering well in the Medical Ward since his admission last Friday, Feb. 21, 2014.
The governor had flown to Washington DC to attend several meetings, including one with President Barack Obama. He was also to attend the National Governor's Association (NGA) Winter Meeting as well as the Interagency Group on Insular Affairs (IGIA) meetings.
During a press conference, the Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, said the governor arrived in Washington DC on Feb. 20, 2014 but was hospitalized the next day. “This was due to unforeseen illness and he was admitted to George Washington Hospital for observation,” said Lemanu. As of yesterday he was still in the hospital, “doing fine and recovering very well since Friday last week.”
Samoa News notes the governor is reported to have attended a meeting with the US Treasury to discuss the territory’s Small Business Credit Initiative Application, which is still being reviewed, according to a press release, dated Friday, Feb. 21st. A media release, received yesterday, noted the governor was unable to attend the IGIA meetings due to his illness and was represented by American Samoa's Attorney General, Talauega Eleasalo V. Ale. The same press release also said Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin did not attend the meetings and was represented by Chief Counsel Ta’afili Sagapolutele Jr. from the congressman’s office.
Speaking in Samoan, the Lt Governor stated the governor was experiencing pain, however when asked for specifics, Lemanu declined to respond, stating instead that the governor is now “out and about and walking around” in the hospital. He said he has opted to wait for the medical release document and would not say anything specific as of yet.
Lemanu noted that usually medical observations take one or two days before a person is released from the hospital and they “don’t foresee any major complications or anything that would worry us.”
The Acting Governor apologized to the public, the Fono leaders and the Administration for the delay in relaying the news of the Governor’s situation, however his office had waited to gather actual facts prior to going public on the matter.
“On behalf of the governor’s office we like to say that the governor is recovering well and we thank the Lord for His help,” said Lemanu.
The Acting Governor stated that First Lady Cynthia Malala Moliga is by the governor’s side, along with the Chief of Staff Fiu Johnny Saelua and Executive Assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira.
Lemanu further stated that among the delegation are Medicaid Director Tofoitaufa Sandra King Young, Grants Compliance Officer Jerome Ierome, Director of DOE Vaitinasa Salu Hunkin Finau, Director of Health Motusa Tuileama Nua, Director of Commerce Keniseli Lafaele, and Treasurer Dr Falema’o Phil Pili, who will all return to the territory as planned next week Monday, but it’s unclear if the governor’s stay in the hospital will delay his return.