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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Why are a disproportionate number of Polynesians dying from COVID-19 in California?

Updated: Feb 23

People with masks

It has been reported that the COVID-19 death rate for Polynesians is twelve times higher than the white population of California. No explanation is given as to why this is the case. Here is the report:

This report will help explain, although not completely, why our Polynesian brothers and sisters have such disproportionately high mortality rates:

"..he estimated that normal vitamin D levels increase the odds of having a mild clinical outcome by approximately 19.6 times."

And this comprehensive Irish report really hammers home the importance of optimal vitamin D levels for a robust immune system:

Sunsmart: pretty dumb if you ask me!

Here in NZ, we need to revise the ill-considered Sunsmart Programme. This programme is racially discriminative. It has done nothing to reduce overall cancer rates and deaths. The only beneficiaries of this programme are fair-skinned people like me who have the "Curse of the Celtic Gene" and those who manufacture and sell sunscreen lotions.

Sunlight gives good health: sunburn causes skin cancer - a very important distinction that is conveniently ignored by people who should know better!

It makes no allowance for the fact that rates of sun-related skin cancers are extremely low to non-existent among Maori and Pacific people. By inadvertently promoting extreme vitamin D deficiency among these Maori and Pacific people and others with darker skin, we are increasing their health risks for at least 30 forms of cancer, including melanoma, as well as diseases including depression, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, dementia, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, depression and more. Vitamin D plays a role in all of these conditions.

We can blame poor dietary and lifestyle choices as well, for some people but that's too easy. Let's not add to the problem with ill-conceived public health programmes.

This video is relevant to this issue - vitamin D deficiency.


Please read these articles about how to escape from our COVID19 Prison:

And these:

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Gaynor Kay
Gaynor Kay
Feb 26

Many thanks for your informative information on Black berries and Smoothies


Gary Moller
Gary Moller
May 11, 2020

Megan, my children are all half-caste Polynesian and they thrive on sunlight. My partner requires probably 10x the sunlight that I need for Vit D. In the early days I had a number of discussions with health authorities about this. In a nutshell, I was told that they could not be seen to be having race-based health policies. Like restricting the sunlight time of a red-headed freckled person while allowing a child of, say, Somali descent to play outside all day minus hat and sunscreen!


Gary Moller
Gary Moller
May 11, 2020

Interesting comments about housing, Philip and undoubtedly correct. We can expect NZ's standard of living to decline for at least several years now and I wonder what the cost will be to our national health status and mortality.

Maori and Pacific people seem to be under-represented in NZ probably for three reasons:

1. They are less likely to be in retirement villages.

2. NZ was pretty successful at keeping the virus out of those communities, including possibly the use of Iwi checkpoints.

3. Good luck!


Megan Ward
Megan Ward
May 08, 2020

This is such an interesting connection. When I worked in a pre-school I spent a big part of every day coaxing/bullying toddlers into putting on hats, and ticking them off on the sunscreen schedule time-sheet. I noticed that kids like feeling sunlight, as much as they dislike the sunscreening experience. At least for the pale-skinned kids, the mildly-unpleasant 3x-daily experience was theoretically in the interests of their long-term health, but I recognised that for the Polynesian kids, the daily conflict of hats and sunscreen was for No Reason. Now I'm reading that it wasn't just useless, but actively harmful! I'm also recalling the high rate of allergies to the standard sunscreen brand.


Philip Hayward
May 07, 2020

That is shocking about Polynesians in California, Gary. But in NZ, are they over-represented in COVID-19 statistics? Diverting now from what you are saying about sunshine and Vitamin D, which I agree with.

I have a few theories about COVID-19 at the "forensic" level of society, climate, and the built environment. Epicentres of COVID-19 deaths have a few characteristics that clearly don't apply indiscriminately everywhere, and especially not in NZ. It was wintertime "over there" when the virus hit. Very "old" built urban form (often taken pride in at those locations) could be harder to do good HVAC in and could be like "human petri dishes" in wintertime, especially bars, restaurants, venues and apartment blocks. The location and type of…

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