Taste of the Marianas is pushing through


In order for the CNMI to continue to have new programs and activities, there is a need for everybody’s effort to get herd community.

Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres emphasized this point last Friday when asked if the Taste of the Marianas will push through, considering concerns over the delta variant of COVID-19 in neighboring islands and states.

Torres said at a radio press briefing that he does not want to tell the community not to be concerned about the delta variant. There is a concern, he said, which is why it’s important for everyone to get vaccinated.

Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Priscilla M. Iakopo said Tuesday night that the Taste of the Marianas International Food Festival that is set for Aug. 27 to 29, will push through.

The Taste of the Marianas, which is MVA’s biggest community event, was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

Torres said the CNMI’s neighboring islands and the states are closely monitoring the delta variant.

“Until we literally get our herd immunity, everybody will continue to be at risk,” Torres pointed out.

The governor said the administration is working hard to provide incentives for people to be vaccinated, but it’s also a community effort. “We’re almost there,” said Torres, stressing that in order for the CNMI to open its doors and host events like the Taste of the Marianas, there is a need for everybody’s effort to obtain herd immunity.

The governor said his take is, they’ll wait for the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force Warren Villagomez and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther M uña to give the direction. “Because they are the professionals. They got the doctors, they communicate with [the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] on a daily basis, maybe four times a day. And they are being updated on our issues here,” Torres said.

He said if Villagomez and Muña come up and say that, based on the information they have, they have to postpone the Taste of the Marianas, by all means they will have to postpone it.

“And if they said that on the risk factor, it’s safe enough to continue, then let’s celebrate,” Torres said.

At any rate, Torres said, the most critical part is for the CNMI to continue to push for vaccination. “That is the key. And I won’t stop emphasizing how important it is for our community to reach that goal,” he said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com
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