US Rep. Hank Johnson from Georgia is worried that the island of Guam might tip over.
The strange comment was made at a House Armed Services Committee to Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Admiral Willard was discussing plans to build up military personnel on the Pacific island, when Johnson asked if the additional population might cause the island to “tip over.”
“My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” Johnson said.
Willard seemed shocked by the question. He paused for a moment and replied, “We don’t anticipate that.”
According to the last US Census, Guam currently has a population of about 160,000 people. The additional population being proposed is around 25,000 people and includes US military personnel and their families.
Even so, until Guam becomes a floating island, it’s impossible for the U.S. island territory to flip over.
Or what is Rep. Johnson knows something the rest of us don’t?! If you live in Guam, you might want to hang on.
UPDATE: Congressman Johnson later clarified his remarks in a statement claiming he was “obviously” joking.
“The subtle humor of this obviously metaphorical reference to a ship capsizing illustrated my concern about the impact of the planned military buildup on this small tropical island,” Johnson said in the statement.
Perhaps another explanation could be a health problem with the two-term Democrat. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnson is battling Hepatitis C, an ailment that can cause him to get “lost in thought in the middle of a discussion.”