Monday’s Letters to the Editor
Stalling virus relief
EDITOR: As this is written, President Donald Trump hasn’t indicated whether he will sign the bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill passed last week by Congress. Absent from negotiations, Trump now complains that relief checks should triple, to $2,000 per person. Painstaking work and months of negotiating are ignored.
For the holidays, millions of people, jobless through no fault of their own, are left wondering what will happen when current relief checks and unemployment money runs out. How will they pay for food? Medicines? Rent or mortgages?
Help is needed now. Instead, our president golfs after making a decision all too familiar in its cruelty, becoming the center of the news cycle at the expense of the pain and suffering of millions of people. It is a horrific coda to his presidency and a shameful legacy.
EDITOR: I want to thank columnist Michelle Singletary for her courage and for her devotion to helping readers understand the devastating effects of racism (“Not all readers yet get ‘racism,’ ” Dec. 20). It takes guts to keep at it as she has, and I want her to know there are many readers who appreciate her efforts and appreciated The Press Democrat for printing her columns.
As a middle-aged white woman, I can’t know what it is to experience racism, but reading and listening to Singletary and other people of color can help me and like-minded allies understand how racism affects every part of life and how to be better advocates.
It falls upon all of us to help spread the word, to shine a light on racism and to show support, especially in the face of negative responses and attacks. The fact that these exist as much as they do, indeed at all, shows us we still have much work to do.
Student housing hazards
EDITOR: As an architect, the picture of the student housing planned for Santa Rosa Junior College was startling as it showed the housing units placed in the hazard zone of sound and exhaust of Highway 101 (“SRJC pushes back on student housing timeline,” Dec. 19). The parking area was well protected, due to its distance from the freeway, and is where the housing should be placed. The client (the junior college) and the designer forgot to put their thinking caps on. Shameful.
Rating Trump’s work
EDITOR: Tim Delaney’s letter criticizing the media for not giving credit to Donald Trump for getting us COVID vaccines so quickly (“Credit for Trump,” Dec. 21) didn’t mention that Trump himself said that if the government manages to keep the number of COVID deaths under 100,000, then the government (and he, as commander in chief) would be doing a “good job.”
Extrapolating, this would imply that deaths from 100,000 to 200,000 would be an OK job and anything over 300,000 would be a bad job. When you consider that we have about 4% of the world’s population and around 17% of the COVID cases, that would reinforce the idea that Trump has been doing a bad job when it comes to dealing with the virus.
Historians will always wonder why Trump never mandated a national policy of wearing masks, hand-washing and social distancing, since Japanese scientists had proved that wearing a mask was at least 40% effective in curtailing the virus.
With regards to the expedited vaccines, I believe that Trump should get credit, but it still is coming too late for more than 330,000 Americans. So, yes, let’s give credit where credit is due.
Senator’s poor example
EDITOR: I am appalled that someone who ridiculed those who wore masks and who consistently appeared in public not wearing a mask, who time after time failed to maintain social distance at rallies and events, who denied the science that could have saved thousands of lives, now feels entitled to receive the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of health care workers who care for their patients, the essential workers who have kept our country going and people in nursing homes who have been particularly disadvantaged.
What makes Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, believe that he is entitled to step up and take advantage of his position to jump in line ahead of those groups? Then to make a TV spectacle, saying he wants to set a good example. He had 10 months to set a good example and failed. He should be ashamed.
Lessons in leadership
EDITOR: Since the Great Depression, all national emergencies have been run by qualified federal emergency personnel, except during the Hurricane Katrina crisis, when Michael Brown ran it unsuccessfully until a qualified U.S. general took over and quickly guided it to a be a successful operation.
In the COVID-19 crisis, 50 governors and a U.S. vice president were given the duty to manage the crisis, and none of these politicians had any in-depth experience in emergency operations, and it ended up an out-of-control operation to this day.
One should know that in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan, where emergency personnel were in charge of the COVID-19 crisis, they had less than a combined total of 15,000 die from this virus, while in the U.S. we have had over 330,000 deaths. And those forenamed nations gained control of this virus more than seven months ago, while COVID-19 is still out of control in the U.S.
Lesson: Never again put politicians in charge of a national emergency.
RONALD BRENT HIPPLER
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