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Wednesday, April 22, 2020: Another protection program, we need more testing, time to be angry, writing to say thank you

Another protection program

Congress needs to enact a Property Tax Protection Plan. Lodging sales tax is a big source of revenue for Maine. If lodging cannot open, then owners likely cannot pay their property taxes.

We think unemployment numbers were high — wait for the bankruptcies across the country to start. Without businesses there is no need for the Paycheck Protection Program support for employees. Like California and other states, implement mandatory masks in public.

Basil Pottle

Eastport

Universal health care

Thank you to Gov. Janet Mills for all she has done in the face of our Covid-19 crisis. I am proud of her and our CDC director, Dr. Nirav Shah, for keeping us informed and for the mandates that have been enacted. I am very proud to be a citizen of this state.

This crisis has certainly accentuated the need for a more equal and accessible health care system and a more timely reimbursement for the health care providers and institutions. As a retired physician and mother of two sons practicing medicine, I have been concerned about this inequality and inefficiency for years and hoped that the Affordable Care Act would be a good start toward a remedy. Sadly, I think it has just touched the tip of the iceberg.

Now is the time to move forward with publicly funded universal health care, if not as a nation, then at least as a state. We along with several other states could lead the way. As one who has been fortunate enough to afford health care, I am not averse to being taxed in a proportionate way.

Virginia Grogean

Surry

We need more testing

I see two ways to end the economic impact of the coronavirus: widespread testing and tracking to allow for isolation of those who are infected, and a vaccine. As a physician, I am overjoyed that Mainers have prevented a far greater medical disaster from this pandemic by adhering to social distancing. Given our small population, if we had enough testing and tracking, I believe we could slowly loosen the social distancing measures and allow businesses to reopen. But in order to do this, we need much more testing than we currently have the capacity to conduct.

The Trump administration continues to misinform the public about the testing capacity all over the country. Here in Maine (and elsewhere) tests have been limited.

We need our senators and congresspeople to speak loudly and publicly about the lack of leadership from Washington on this crucial issue. Mainers’ lives and livelihoods depend on it.

Lisa Buck

Orono

Time be be angry

It’s about time there was some righteous anger directed at President Donald Trump’s handling of COVID-19 by one of Maine’s senators. Sen. Angus King is right to be angry at the current president’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. I would suggest, however, that it is time for King and all Mainers to direct an equal amount of indignation at Sen. Susan Collins.

Trump’s incompetence has made the stakes too high for collegial niceties. The stakes were high when Collins supported Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on a tax vote, a vote she made look even worse when she was potentially duped by McConnell with a promise of a vote on insurance subsidies.

The stakes were high when she supported Trump on the vote for Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. The stakes were high when she voted to acquit Trump, saying at the time that she thought Trump had learned something from the impeachment process. He hasn’t seemed to learn anything; indeed, he’s emboldened, acting as though he were king rather than president.

Trump is not responsible for COVID-19 but he is responsible for its aftermath. His handling of this pandemic is sheer incompetence, incompetence that has cost people their lives and crushed our economy. It’s time for Sen. Collins to acknowledge it in words and deeds.

Jeffrey Hartnett

Deer Isle

Writing to say thank you

I’m writing just to thank everyone at the BDN for the hard work they do, and for keeping the paper alive in these incredibly challenging times. I know they get a lot of flak from a lot of different directions. I doubt they get nearly enough credit.

Laura Levenson

Carmel

Think for a moment

Can we all just think for a moment or two before we jump and point fingers?

First, this coronavirus is actually affecting an extremely small segment of the population — several hundred thousand spaced in a population of 330 million. The effort is to keep the percentage low. The problem is institutional inertia. Inertia is the scientific term for resistance to change. Bureaucracies have an inherent resistance to change. I would call it institutional inertia.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention couldn’t keep up with the manufacture and distribution of test kits, but the bureaucracy resisted opening up the process to the private sector. It took time to break down those barriers. In another example, the masks came under two categories, those designated for medical use and those designated for industrial use. There had to be a law passed to protect the manufacturer from lawsuits if the industrial masks were used in the medical area.

Bureaucracies are inherently inefficient due to this bureaucratic inertia. The bigger the bureaucracy, the greater the inertia (resistance to change).

I think it makes no difference, in this situation, who the president is — there would be problems with bureaucratic inertia regardless.

So let’s just chill out. Each day, more of these barriers are being broken down and as the inertia is broken down things are moving.

I have to add just one point, when we look at how inefficient the current bureaucracies are, are we sure we want to turn our health care system over to an even bigger one? Think about it for a second.

Bob Mercer

Bucksport

 


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