Economic recovery plan will be presented in the next few days

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The roadblocks went into effect on April 11 at four different locations. They have led to traffic backups and aggravated motorists. (Photo by PNC Chief Photographer Allan Balbin)

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero said this morning that she will be presenting a recovery plan in the next few days “that will start returning our lives to some normalcy.”

In her daily video message posted on her FaceBook page the Governor said the recovery plan “was worked on by medical and public health professionals, the business community, and government agencies like GEDA and GVB.”

She said her goal is “to get Guam working again but to keep Guam safe while doing it.”

Earlier today, in an interview with K-57’s Patti Arroyo, she said she will start lifting some of the current social distancing restrictions after the expiration of the current public health emergency on May 5th.

The recovery plan “is not on hold,” she said, “it continues to be moving forward.”

She said the roadblocks may be lifted, and she might allow restaurants to open up again and serve customers in house.

However, she said she still intends to extend the public health emergency for another 30 days beyond May 5th.

“I will extend that public health emergency,” she said. “I’m not lifting all of the  restrictions. I’m only lifting restrictions I feel that are less risky to lift.”

 

Most of her address this morning was devoted to her response to an email that was widely circulated on social media Thursday in which a Guam businessman was critical of  the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

READ the Governor’s response letter in FULL below:

Dear Guam Business Owner:

I live on the same island as you, and though you might feel I’m far away, while dealing with this crisis, I’ve always been right here. I asked you to help, you did. I asked you to close your businesses so we could save lives, and lives were saved. I asked you to stay home so we could stop the spread, and it is working. I asked you to continue to stay home to keep us safe, and you are.

I know you are at home, waiting. I told you unemployment checks would come, and we submitted every document for federal approval within days of being allowed to file for it. I told you small business grants were coming, and they did. Just ask the 502 small businesses on Guam that got their share of $102 million last week—the largest per capita award among the territories. I told you don’t worry forgivable loans are coming, and these same loans are forgivable, so long as you use them to keep people working.

I told you stimulus money is coming, but it hasn’t come fast enough, even though we were the first territory in the nation to file for it. That’s why I advanced nearly $11 million in stimulus checks to our most vulnerable neighbors, something no other territorial Governor has done. During this crisis, we processed $100 million in cash, food, and medical assistance. Five hundred thousand meals were given to Guam’s kids, and meals to the elderly have never stopped.

But still, you wait at home. I know that some people think becoming Governor gives you the power to make everything better with the wave of a wand. But that isn’t true. No matter how fast we work to submit our paperwork, we can only work as fast as the federal bureaucracy allows. That frustrates me more with every day that passes, and I am angry that you are made to suffer because of it.

But here is what you need to know: This virus kills and will kill many more of us. We must continue to prioritize the health of our people. We lost 5 loved ones to this virus and the world lost many more. I won’t let their sacrifice be for nothing.

In the next few days, I will present a recovery plan that will start returning our lives to some normalcy. It was worked on by medical and public health professionals, the business community, and government agencies like GEDA and GVB.

My goal is to get Guam working again but to keep Guam safe while doing it.

I’ve heard you. And whether you agree with my decisions or not, I am glad you are alive to hear me.

Lou Leon Guerrero