Letters to the editor May 14 to 20
I was recently diagnosed with stage-three colon cancer and am presently undergoing chemotherapy which will, at a minimum, last six months. I am also 76 years old. Because of these two factors I obviously need to do everything possible to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
I cannot express my rage at people who now want to sacrifice me and tens of millions of other Americans so that they can get a manicure, go bowling or buy a gun. Perhaps, most disturbing, is that these demonstrators have the gall to wave American flags at their rallies when what they are doing is the most unpatriotic act possible. Of course, I have no idea how many of these deluded “true” Americans are Trump supporters, but when the President said that three Democratic states should be “liberated” to protect their gun rights and right-wing provocateurs are clearly behind these demonstrations, you have to wonder what these “true” Americans really believe in.
Only two courses of action are without doubt effective in containing this virus: universal safe distancing and wearing masks in public situations. Despite this, the President and Vice-President routinely ignore these simple guidelines. What example does that set? As Nobel Laureate Thomas Friedman recently wrote, “At a time when we desperately need to be guided by the best science, Trump’s daily fire hose of lies, and his denunciations of anything he doesn’t like as “fake news,” has contributed mightily to the loss of our “cognitive immunity”—our ability to sort out truth from lies and science from science fiction. At a time when we need a globally coordinated response to a pandemic, Trump has wrecked every alliance we have.”
Please, protesters, stop. Very simply, your support for actions that are harming and killing many millions of Americans is the opposite of Making America Great Again.
Dr. Robert J. McCallum
Over many years, a popular argument among (now extinct) moderate Republicans and “blue dog” Democrats had been the need for a divided national government to keep each side in check and within reasonable bounds. After all, we were a prosperous country (except for workers, small farmers and small businesses) and the status quo, it was argued, might just be the “best of all possible worlds.”
That was then and this is now. The notion that a national legislative “gridlock” was in any way desirable has been supplanted by a need for critical expedited national legislative responses to life, death and economic catastrophe on an apocalyptic scale. Remarkably, across the ideological divide, essentially the same purportedly “dysfunctional” Congress has acted with dispatch to pass significant emergency relief for various sectors of our society. It hasn’t worked well for everyone and much is left to be done (such as aid to our states and local communities), but apparently, we have been reminded that some things can be accomplished, even by divided government in critical times.
The need for legislative action is vital because we have an administration in Washington that may believe that predicting the national body count is pretty much all the president has to do in a pandemic. Recently, when presidential aids became infected, testing for all White House staff and the executives was drastically ramped up. But lacking any version of a national mass testing program, the working people are urged to be “warriors” and go back out into a virally unchartered daily life. Masks are recommended, but the president won’t wear one. Despite this apparent contradiction, with his availability of daily testing on demand, he can continue a bravado that others might foolishly mimic and then pay for with their lives—or, perhaps, grandma’s life.
“Nature” has been one of the premier science journals and its credibility has always been substantial. But, the coronavirus has brought it to its knees. Imagine, its recent article (www.bit.ly/RRmortmalkin) suggested that young children who have had no evidence of infection with the coronavirus should volunteer to be inoculated with the virus so an antibody-based antitoxin can rapidly be developed without double-blind studies.
Nature has left out a whole population who can serve the same purpose. It is well known that otherwise healthy older athletes who have kept themselves in a high state of fitness may have become infected and contagious, but will be free of symptoms.
These older high fitness folks would be happy to contribute to the development of an antitoxin which would benefit themselves, uninfected grandchildren … everyone. All it would take is some common sense.