American Samoa delegate medevaced to Oahu


PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — American Samoa’s nonvoting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives was medically evacuated from the territory Thursday night to an Army hospital in Honolulu, for an unspecified but not-life threatening condition.

A Hawaii National Guard plane carrying 70-year-old Eni Faleomavaega departed Pago Pago about three hours after landing in the territory from Hawaii, about 2,300 miles away.

The territory’s governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, several cabinet directors and family members saw Faleomavaega off at the airport.

Faleomavaega was hospitalized early Tuesday, but the politician’s staffers and officials at LBJ Medical Center in Pago Pago declined to say why.

A statement from his office said he’s stable for travel. His office said doctors agree that he should be medically evacuated to Tripler for further evaluation because of a lack of specialized capabilities in American Samoa.

“We thank everyone involved who has tirelessly worked through the night to secure an air crew and a military plane,” the statement said. “Once more, we thank you for your prayers and reiterate that Faleomavaega is not in a life-threatening situation.”

A flight between Honolulu and Pago Pago normally takes about six hours.

American Samoa is a U.S. territory about 2,300 miles south of Hawaii. Its House delegate can vote in committee but not on the House floor.

Faleomavaega, a Democrat, is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Committee on Natural Resources.