Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor
Choosing money over life
EDITOR: On Monday, Donald Trump indicated — due to economic reasons — he wanted to lift the federal public health restrictions put in place on March 16 to combat the coronavirus (“Trump anxious to end closures,” Tuesday”).
Your article said: “Relaxing those restrictions could significantly increase the death toll from the virus, public health officials warn.” The article quotes Arthur Caplin, a professor of bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center: “You can’t call off the best weapon we have, which is social isolation, even out of economic desperation, unless you’re willing to be responsible for a mountain of deaths.”
Trump will be clearly and solely responsible for any death that occurs due to a selfish, premature lifting of public health restrictions. This is the ultimate example of how he values money (and numbers) over human life.
Feinstein’s timely sale
EDITOR: Sen. Dianne Feinstein justifies her timely sale of up to $6 million of stock after a classified briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee and other Senate committees outlining the worldwide threat of the coronavirus, because the investments were held in a blind trust (“Stock sales by Sen. Burr, others ignite political uproar,” pressdemocrat.com). How blind can the trust be when the beneficiary sleeps with the trustee, her husband?
A more equitable plan
EDITOR: Democrats deserve skewering for demanding nonpandemic issues like solar panel tax credits in the emergency funding bill. It’s like arguing with firefighters saving your home that their hose isn’t organic. Republican insistence on minimal regulation of emergency funds exploits the emergency to allow corporate donors to buy back stock and continue their extraordinary bonuses — in secret.
Money eventually will be dispensed, but most of it will pass through needy hands like poop through a goose, returning to the nation’s banks as payments for mortgages, debt and rent. Wouldn’t it be more equitable and efficient to aim for a temporary suspension of all rents and mortgages until the number of new virus cases ceases to rise?
Wouldn’t these represent larger grants without looting the treasury? Why replicate the largesse of unregulated bailouts of 2008? Freedom from the obligations of mortgages, debt and rent would multiply the effectiveness of whatever cash citizens receive, and Congress might not have to dispense as much.
We should not be debating nonessentials in this moment. Let’s shore up the nation’s vast majority by reducing what they require to survive.
More beds needed
EDITOR: Now is the time for Sonoma County to begin converting exhibition halls at the fairgrounds into emergency coronavirus beds. Look to Washington and Oregon where this is being done. If the medial experts are half correct, and if Sonoma County’s numbers reflect those in other places, existing hospital facilities will soon be overwhelmed.
PATRICK B. BRODERICK
Democrats play politics
EDITOR: After witnessing what is going on in Congress, you have to wonder whether the Democrats are trying to keep the stock market from rebounding. This would ensure Joe Biden’s election as our next president. This is a very serious situation, and there should be no politics involved.