By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) When a Leon Guerrero cabinet member returned to Guam from a Hawaii trip two weeks ago, she was supposed to be placed into hotel quarantine along with everyone else who did not have a negative test result within 72 hours of their return.
Instead, public health director Linda DeNorcey called the airport to release this cabinet official, whom Kandit will not name out of respect for medical privacy. Multiple high-placed sources from within the Governor's Office and Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense also separately confirm that Ms. DeNorcey was taking orders to violate the governor's travel quarantine directive from Haig Huynh, the governor's legal counsel.
Ironically, Mr. Huynh is the same official whom U.S. Attorney Shawn Anderson said cleared Mr. Anderson to not enter hotel quarantine upon his return to Guam in March, which quickly and loudly was challenged by the governor.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero already has admitted to a member of her cabinet being allowed to skip her travel quarantine orders, and Ms. DeNorcey separately explained that one of the infection clusters resulted from Hawaii travel that led to a household case.
The cabinet official began exhibiting symptoms of Coronavirus infection shortly after returning to Guam and was tested and confirmed to have the disease.
According to Ms. DeNorcey's statements on the Hawaii travel cluster, her agency is conducting contact tracing to determine how widespread the infection is from this one case.
The governor's travel quarantine was set up specifically to catch possible importation of the Coronavirus and contain its spread by keeping travelers without a negative test result quarantined in designated hotels. The exception Mr. Huynh authorized and Ms. DeNorcey carried out has led to the virus spreading further than it already has.
Emails sent to the governor, her director of communications Janela Carrera, and her policy assistant Carlo Branch have gone unanswered. Here are the questions we sent and for which we still await response:
May we have your response as to why and under what authority governor's legal counsel Haig Huynh allowed a cabinet member to skip quarantine when this cabinet member arrived back on Guam from Hawaii this month?
Has any other Governor's Office official made decisions that violate the governor's orders during the public health emergency?
We are aware that the cabinet member who returned from Hawaii tested positive for the Coronavirus days after return. Has contact tracing started? Has anyone else been exposed by this person?
Was this person in physical contact with the governor, the lieutenant governor, any of their security detail or staff, or any other cabinet member since returning to Guam?