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Greetings.  Firstly, I give thanks to Whom all glory belongs, for life itself is a Grace undeserving, but only in Christ Jesus. Lord grant us the courage to put in motion an effective solution starting immediately, to counteract the COVID-19 threat, easing the hurt and pain, of insurmountable suffering, against our  people at-large.

With all due respect, your Honorable Governor, and the chosen Task Force of our government, I am just one voice, out of the thousands of American Samoan citizens stranded off-island and on-island, praying without ceasing for “The Day”, when the lockdown is lifted!

Thank you for precautionary measures you have done in the past few months. However, the world has opened up, with each country moving forward in different degrees, with strategies to combat this COVID-19, continuing in their daily norm of responsibilities, yet, American Samoa is still on a standstill … still! 

Daily the lockdown is causing a deep cut into our finances, businesses, as well as the abrupt flow of duties, not to mention the psychological effect added to this demise, if we will not act now.  We are in dire need of returning to normalcy, with whatever challenge coming our way, just as all countries are enduring and attending to daily obligations.

Clearly, we cannot be living in a bubble of fantasy! The whole world is infected somehow by this Corona virus; only we are psychologically, financially and spiritually affected. Reality calls for American Samoa to move forward with the world, for the sake of survival. 

Our government keeps reiterating that American Samoa has not the capability to handle the Corona, yet we are Corona-free!  “AMERICAN SAMOA, GOD BE FIRST.” Has God not been faithful to us, throughout the ages? Moreover, how short have we fallen from His glory? As for me, over and again and beyond to this day, I have fallen, but praise be to Jesus I am Corona-free in Seattle, Washington, where the Coronavirus is reportedly high! 

It is written, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself…” Faith without works is dead. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Have we as a nation done anything to deserve this Grace?  Yet, His grace is sufficient every day!  Why then can we not take a leap of faith to move forward, in this pandemic as well?  American Samoa, is there anything that He cannot do?  Viia le Atua! 

Therefore, I am asking you Sir and your chosen committee, why can we not open up the airways?

The fear of this Coronavirus is creating an immense financial burden, from every side of the spectrum!   We cannot sit wishfully, and not take that first step, to make a breakthrough! The government needs to act now and function!!!  It is now or never, for the only time that is guaranteed is, now!  Is there a guarantee that Hawaii will come to a corona-free status? The government must take ownership of the time and act now!

Lastly, I truly hope that this letter will reach your Honorable Governor. I have requested in the past years to have an appointment with your office, but there was never a response!  Forgive me, but I will not be ignored anymore and this is why I am submitting my letter through the island newspaper in hope of reaching you.  Soifua ma ia manuia.

I am Fatumalala Leulua’i Al-Shehri, a citizen of American Samoa.