Letters to The Reader

It took downplaying one microbe

  When members of professional athletic teams are receiving Coronavirus tests ahead of our medical professionals on the front line, we need to ask how this could happen.
  Cecilia Vega (Emmy award-winning ABC News anchor, and the network’s Senior White House Correspondent,) asked Trump directly if the wealthy sector are able to buy their way to testing, while others must wait. His response was “that’s the way life goes sometimes.”
  She was so appalled by his snooty answer, and for his use of “the Chinese virus” moniker, that she addressed his entourage behind the podium, if they were all okay with him using that term. Pence was there. He, and the rest, all had vacant, silent stares, as they filed out behind their “poster boy.”

  Republicans are desperate to blame their embarrassing (and criminal) lack of readiness on others, but there can be no doubt that Trump eliminated the CDC office for pandemics, (among other things.) Now they want to quickly buy acceptance of our new hardship, through stimulus payouts, which we can be sure they’re salivating over right now.

  It took downplaying one microbe for the “house of republican ineptitude” to damage or destroy our nation.
  And to Trump supporters – do you get it yet? You can now have thoughts and prayers for supper.

Mark Pommier
Hibbing, MN

Income and wealth disparity

   In my Feb. 20th letter I advised Democratic voters not to let fear of losing to Pres. Trump cause them to fear voting for the bold, but needed, changes addressed in the Sanders and Warren campaigns. Since then the voters have spoken. And, whether out of fear or out of a perceived pragmatism,they have voted for Biden and the status quo.    The anxiety of the political moment has led them to hold on to what they have. They may be correct in thinking that “moderate” Biden will rid us of the Trump II night mare”,in that it will get us through the night.But will it get

us through the days and years ahead?
   The issue of income and wealth disparity, caused by a rigged economy, continues to divide and weaken us. Lack of access to affordable health care is bankrupting us individually, and nationally in global economic competition. Higher education debt is burdening an entire generation and depressing the economy. And long unaddressed issues of climate change pose an existential threat to the economic and political stability of democratic civilization itself.

   Supporters of the Sanders and Warren campaigns that boldly address these critical issues may not be a majority, but they and their issues are a significant political force that must be heard and respected when the party convention writes its platform.
   For the sake of party unity, the Biden supporters must welcome the
   Sanders and Warren voices into the campaign. The Democratic tent must be big enough for all its voices if Trump is to be defeated, in the Fall. And their critical issues must be addressed if Democrats are going to govern successfully when in office,if they want to stay-in office.

Larry A. Johnson
Duluth MN

“The Coronavirus Blues”
You hurry grandmas and grandpas into cemeteries.
You close churches and get us on our knees.
You lay off the world, turn the tables on restaurants and bars.
You scare us into not wishing on a star.
You stampede the bulls up and down Wall Street.
You sideline sports and live, late night TV.
You put the brakes on makin’ and buyin’ cars.
You war on earth like you’re an army from Mars.
You steal our “social distance” and skew the news.
You got us singin’ the Coronavirus blues.
Today, you’re the black cat crying that
if we dare laugh you’ll cross our path,
but, Fortunato, your fortunes will change
when we deal you your fate
in our wild card game.
When the last hand is played
You, not us, will hold “aces over eights.”
It’ll be your turn to feel the turn of the screw
when the Banshee turns toward you.
It’ll be you who schools will teach got schooled.
It’ll be you singin’ the Coronavirus blues!  

William Tecku
Tempe, AZ
Gordon, WI

COVID-19 & Climate Change

   We should have listened to the science.  The COVID-19 pandemic is extracting a very high human cost due to our society’s lack of preparedness and our failure to take early action.     
   This is a lesson in the price we pay for the political denial of science and our government’s failure to act decisively based on the early evidence. 
   The Earth is at risk from climate change. Let’s take this very hard COVID-19 lesson to heart and demand that our leaders start taking action on climate change now before it is altogether too late.  Even as we emerge from the COVID-19 emergency we must begin to re-stimulate our economy in the direction of preventing a climate change disaster that makes COVID-19 look like kindergarten. Experience is a hard teacher. Let’s hope that we are learning.

George Bussey
Ashland, WI

And the Winner is ….
   In this time of crisis, both healthwise and financial, many of us are paying close attention to what Congress is doing (or not doing) to help. Many people are suffering, some with health issues and many more with the financial  fallout caused by the great disruption in our routine lives. What will Congress do and who will be made whole? We simply don’t know yet but  there will be one winner for sure.

   That one is Donald Trump. Here’s why. To address the financial side of this, Congress is granting unspecified  financial bailouts for industries affected by the epidemic; airlines, hotels, and more,  industries many of which already pay little or no taxes. The president owns hotels.
   Some of us older folks remember back when President Jimmy Carter had to sell his family owned peanut farm business in order to avoid the appearance of any conflict of  interest.  
   If I were a hotel employee cleaning rooms, doing laundry, providing food service or any  other hotel job which pays very low on the labor scale, I would be concerned about a  reduction in my hours or even loosing my job. How could I afford to eat, pay my rent or cover any of my other survival expenses?

   Some of the proposed economic bailout is likely hundreds of millions of dollars directly  to the hotel industry. If I were a hotel employee not made whole by the federal government, I doubt very much that I would trust the president with his newly acquired  wealth to share it with me.
   This is the second time the Republican-controlled Senate would be directly enriching the president. The first was the huge tax cut for wealthy folks and businesses at the expense  of working folks. This benefited the president and his businesses personally at the rate  of tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

   But contrary to what some believe, not all politicians are corrupt. It’s up to each of us individually to do the work to sort out which of our elected representatives will represent only the wealthy and powerful and which will work for the 99%, the rest of us.
   Do vote in the coming elections this year because your vote is the most important vote there is. Let’s vote for the common good, yours, mine and all of ours.

 Jack Pick
 Duluth, MN

Lifelong motto

   Mary McCarthy once characterized another author like so: “Everything she says is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” Whenever I listen to Donald Trump, I’m reminded of that zinger.
   Maybe I’m reminded of McCarthy’s poison dart because Billy Bush reported that when he accused Trump of inflating the ratings for his TV show, Trump declared, “People just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you.”
   I never forgot that.
   Or maybe McCarthy’s quip keeps coming to mind because, according to the Fact Checker of The Washington Post, Trump has lied to the public more than 16,000 times since he was sworn into office.
   Reality, however, has a way of catching up with liars. Donald Trump cannot lie away a pandemic. All his life, he has dodged, denied, deflected, and flat-out lied his way out of trouble. Not this time. Facts – deadly facts – remain.
   Asked by Yamiche Alcindor of PBS why in 2018 Trump had dissolved the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, Trump protested, “Well, I just think it’s a nasty question . . . And when you say ‘me,’ I didn’t do it.”
   Warned repeatedly, Donald Trump denied the threat posed by the coronavirus.
   Asked by Kristen Welker of NBC whether he should take responsibility for the failure to distribute more test kits for COVID-19 earlier, Trump finally said something true: “I don’t take responsibility at all.”
   Of course. That’s been his lifelong motto.

Bart Sutter
Duluth, MN