Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) told reporters Monday that he didn’t retract a fake missile alert earlier this month more quickly because he didn’t know the password for his Twitter account, the Washington Post reported.
On Jan. 13, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent an alert to residents and those in the state at 8:07 a.m. that there was an incoming ballistic missile and they should take shelter immediately.
“This is not a drill,” the alert, which was pushed to smartphones, stated.
The alert caused turmoil for some residents, including state Rep. Matt LoPresti, who told CNN that he took shelter in a bathtub with his children.
"I was sitting in the bathtub with my children, saying our prayers," says Hawaii state representative Matt LoPresti in emotional interview after false missile alert https://t.co/iBTS3gVX0y https://t.co/EBRyDLQa9q
— CNN (@CNN) January 13, 2018
KHNL-TV reported earlier this month that Ige knew just two minutes after the alert was sent that it was a false alarm. Some questioned why, upon finding out the alert was fake, the governor didn’t immediately take to social media to tell residents.
The Post noted that Ige didn’t inform the public on social media that “there is NO missile threat” until 8:24 a.m., although he reportedly learned the alert was false at 8:09 am.
It took 23 minutes for the same message from the governor to appear on Facebook.
The Post reported the false alarm was sent because an employee clicked on the wrong option on a drop-down menu.
It took 38 minutes for officials to issue a retraction.
What did Ige say?
According to the Post, after Ige avoided the subject of the false alarm in his State of the State address Monday, reporters asked him why he didn’t inform residents sooner.
“I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that’s one of the changes that I’ve made,” Ige said.
Ige defended his immediate actions upon discovering the alert was fake, saying he was “in the process of making calls to the leadership team both in Hawaii Emergency Management as well as others.”
“The focus really was on trying to get as many people informed about the fact that it was a false alert,” he said.
Ige his Twitter login and password is now stored on his cellphone.
“I’ve been putting that on my phone so that we can access the social media directly,” Ige said.