Photo: Eugene Tanner / AFP / Getty Images

The false missile alert set off in Hawaii earlier this month has led to the resignation of emergency management administrator Vern Miyagi and the firing of the employee who sent the warning, according to the AP.

The moves come after the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that the employee who sent the alert claimed to have believed the threat was real. A recording that was played as part of a drill during a shift changeover accidentally included the words, "this is not a drill," according to the regulator.

The bottom line: The FCC said that a "lack of preparation" led to Hawaii's 38-minute delay to correct a false alert that said a ballistic missile was headed towards the state. And they said the alert was sent in the first place because of a "combination of human error and inadequate safeguards."

The FCC produced a detailed timeline of Hawaii officials' 38-minute long scramble to contain their error:

  • 8:05 a.m. in Hawaii: A midnight shift supervisor for the state's Emergency Management Agency initiates a drill for the warning officers on duty during the day. A recording played as part of the drill includes language to indicate it was an exercise, but also includes the language "this is not a drill" as part of the text of a live alert.
  • The FCC reports that at this point, some of the officers on duty realized it was a drill. One officer, however, claims they believed it to be a real emergency.
  • 8:07 a.m.: That officer clicks "yes" when asked, "Are you sure that you want to send this Alert?" The message is sent.
  • 8:08 a.m.: The officer gets the false alert on their phone.
  • 8:09 a.m.: The governor is informed about the false alert. Other authorities are told a minute later.
  • 8:12 a.m.: The agency cancels the alert, five minutes after it was sent.
  • 8:20 a.m.: The emergency agency posts on Facebook and Twitter that there is no missile threat to the state.
  • 8:27 a.m.: Authorities decide how to correct their error using the alert system. Three minutes later FEMA, which runs the system, agrees.
  • 8:45 a.m.: Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency sends its correction, 38 minutes after the false alert was sent.

Go deeper: Learn more about how the alert system works.

Go deeper

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!