Not a time for sarcasm

On April 23 at the White House coronavirus briefing, President Trump suggested and seemed to encourage his team of experts to find out whether or not injecting disinfectants into the human body would kill the coronavirus. The next day the president stated that this was really a sarcastic remark directed at the reporters. Listening to his remarks, he clearly appears to be directing it to Dr. Deborah Birx and the team of experts.

However, even if Trump meant this for the reporters, we have to ask: Why would anyone, let alone the president of our country, in the midst of this pandemic, sarcastically suggest a remedy that could kill people? Doesn’t he know that people are frightened and that some very frightened people could on their own experiment with this very dangerous remedy?

Donald M. Kimmelman

Lamoine

Democrats need to unify

This past Democratic primary was incredible to watch: Elizabeth Warren electrified us with her meticulously-detailed plans for big structural change and her fight to make America a more economically equitable place.

Pete Buttigieg made history as the first major openly-gay presidential candidate. As a young politically-driven student, his courage and tenacity was inspiring.

And Bernie Sanders lit up an entire generation of young people — my own fellow UMaine law students included — urging them to join a revolutionary movement to fight for universal health care and tackle climate change with bold, urgent action.

But, with the primary over, if we want any chance at success in November, we need to unify behind our nominee, Joe Biden.

What does that success entail? It’s protecting Social Security and Medicare for our parents and grandparents. It’s ensuring access to health care for people across the state, including countless Mainers who rely on rural hospitals or telemedicine. And it’s a future where myself and my peers aren’t crushingly burdened by student debt.

We’re lucky to have Biden as our nominee — he’s a steady, stable and competent leader when, as the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare, that’s what we need most.

He has a record of actually enacting meaningful legislative change when we’ve been dealt false promises for far too long.

There’s so much riding on the election in November that directly impacts the lives of young Mainers like myself. And that means that as Democrats, we need to organize, unify and act — now.

Brody Haverly-Johndro

Newport

Collins and Trump

“I am also deeply concerned that Mr. Trump’s lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so,” said Sen. Susan Collins on August 8, 2016.

“What do you have to lose? Take it,” said President Donald Trump on April 4, extolling the virtues of hydroxychloroquine. According to a Veterans Affairs study, it appears that you have your life to lose.

Trump on April 23: “I see disinfectant, where it knocks [coronavirus] out in a minute — one minute — and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” The immediate response from the makers of Lysol? “Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body”

“There are times when I think his message has been spot on and he has really deferred to the public health officials who have been with him at these press conferences,” Collins said on April 14.

More than 50,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19. Collins’s reasoning for not voting for Trump in 2016 seems prescient. To me, the story since then is one of an elected representative who has apparently traded good sense for party loyalty. How many more Americans must die before Collins rebukes this president and repents for her part in propping him up?

Heather Peterson

Bar Harbor

That paint job can wait

Essential is an adjective to describe something that is absolutely essential. As citizens of Maine, we have been asked to stay at home unless we need to shop for essential items. Given this definition, I am deeply dismayed by the numbers shopping for things like mulch, flowers, paint, closet organizers.

While it is tempting to use time at home to attend to projects, each individual stepping into a business for a can of paint is putting employees in that location, and their household members, at increased risk for contracting the virus.

Those employed at “essential” businesses don’t have the option of sheltering at home and filing for unemployment benefits.

I have contacted Gov. Janet Mills twice about my concerns and received an automated response. I have contacted my state representative and was told the businesses I was concerned about are deemed essential. I invited my representative to accompany me to a location of one of these businesses; I have not received a response.

Please stay home. Postpone that paint job. One exposure can lead to multiple cases, and can add to the rate of death and the burden on our health care workers.

It’s more effective to stay home than wave banners that express one’s support.

Laura Bouzan

Stockton Springs

No handouts to the rich

While it is clear as day to me that our good president has no idea what he is doing in the fight against the Covid-19 catastrophe after his suggestions of unscientific and dangerous remedies, we should hope that Congress would have some rational ideas to counter the ill effects the virus has had on the economy.

Yes, Congress has made some moves in the form of trillion dollar packages, including assistance through the Small Business Administration, to help businesses and individuals crippled by the necessary shutdown of economic activity.

Yet dispersal of those funds to multi-million dollar corporations shows the unjust, inefficient activity of the government. Small Business Administration means small, not huge, companies. Admittedly, they may be losing some money in the short term, but they should be healthy enough to weather the storm.

We should expect our representatives to have enough sense to help those who need help, not give a hand-out to the rich.

Steve Colhoun

Addison