May 28, 2020
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Thursday, March 26, 2020: We deserve the truth, take the president’s phone away, an idea for food security

We deserve the truth

OK, I am trying to be a well-informed citizen. I tuned in for several “briefings” and paid attention to the information presented on the coronavirus. President Donald Trump introduced people who stood shoulder to shoulder behind him and shook hands with him on March 13. They obviously missed the memo on social distancing. Included in this group were the CEOs of Target, Walmart, Walgreens and CVS offering up their parking lots. These were the “ best and brightest”?

I want to hear from Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists. I want them to speak openly and honestly, without fear of reprisal, about the coronavirus. They must remain at the table and at the podium, and not be silenced for speaking truths. They are the voices of reason.

If I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. These are not “briefings.” These are taxpayer-subsidized campaign rallies now being scheduled during the evening news. Many of the evening news feeds got it right on March 23 when they cut the stump speech practically in mid sentence.

I want to hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, on the coronavirus, so help me God. The American people deserve nothing less.

Margaret T. Clancey

Orono

Take the president’s phone away

We are facing the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes. Tens of thousands of skilled and dedicated people at all levels of government and in the private sector are working all-out, many of them putting their own health at risk, to minimize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and keep us safe.

Meanwhile President Donald Trump is burying us with a blizzard of self-aggrandizing statements, false promises, unfounded accusations, half-truths, and pants-on-fire falsehoods.

Can someone take away his cell phone and send him to a distant golf course for a few months, so that people who are actually competent to manage this crisis can do the work that needs to be done?

Jonathan Falk

Carmel

An idea for food security

I’m a candidate for Maine State Senate District 9, and I have a thought I hope to get to Maine Commissioner of Agriculture Amanda Beal and Maine Commissioner of Labor Laura Fortman: Food and economic security have jumped high on the list of worries in a way that they weren’t just two weeks ago. Food supplies are currently adequate, but U.S. food producers are warning that new restrictions on H2A guest worker program visas have them concerned about future domestic crops.

It is probably safe to assume that our summer activities will be greatly modified. The International Olympic Committee just announced that the summer Olympics will be postponed. Though there remains much unknown as our situation evolves daily, I wonder if there will be opportunity for our sure to be bored teenagers. What would it take to get high school students to once again fill the agricultural fields of Maine such as during the wild blueberry harvest? Perhaps a pandemic.

What challenges would employers, public health, and parents identify? Work ethic and skill, housing, and after work hours supervision, might be a few certainly valid but on the surface not insurmountable obstacles. Having a sense of purpose and some control of the future greatly reduces fear and anxiety. Starting conversations and making preliminary plans now could help us with a positive focus.

How can we support students in a vision to be role models of Maine resiliency by facing the challenges of food and economic security with some sweat and sacrifice?

Kristie L. Miner

Bangor

Is coronavirus going to define our humanity?

As a rule, I steer clear of political rhetoric. I cannot, however, stay silent today. There is a movement in our county that is slowly gaining momentum. The suggestion that the strength of the economy supersedes the health needs of a segment of the nation’s population is un-American.

Elders and people with compromised health conditions are being increasingly viewed as a disposable faction of our population. There is even the lieutenant governor in Texas who intimates elders would gladly sacrifice their lives for the benefit of the economic prosperity of their children and grandchildren. This notion is an incredibly callous and dangerous precedent to set.

Who in our population becomes expendable next? And for what rationale? This is an extraordinarily treacherous slippery slope we are about to embark on, and we as a nation, must be very careful to look at all of the possible consequences of such a divisive and self-centered measure.

Does it become: Medicare is putting an undue burden on the economy? Social Security costs the worker too much in payroll deductions? The cost of educating disabled children is overly exorbitant? How about the Americans With Disabilities Act? Why have that burden on our economy? What about immigrant children? Will we embrace an acceptable death rate for each new disease or disability?

The idea of economic martyrdom is repugnant. How soon will we move from “expendable” to “undesirable?” How soon will we be looking for “ final solutions” to our economic or even social woes? This notion must stop now.

Robin Newman

Addison

 


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