Lies on coronavirus
Let me get this right: According to Trump, we do more testing than anybody else on the planet, the Chinese are totally responsible for covid-19, and did nothing to warn the rest of the world or do anything about it.
In fact, we don't do near as much testing per capita as hardly anybody, and according to the CDC it's already dropped off, and yes, the infection rate is going down because we're not testing as much and nobody's paying any attention, but the death rate is still going up; by the end of the year it'll be over 200,000, which wouldn't show that we're doing such a great job.
It seems Trump has done nothing for the United States on covid-19 except lie about it and blame it on somebody else. We were unprepared when it showed up, and we're still unprepared. We still don't have the testing we need, and he said it is going to go away by the end of September. I thought it was the end of April.
The Chinese say they never saw covid-19 in their labs till after the initial outbreak, and an American scientist working with them confirms that it's obvious the Chinese were hard at work to contain and try to eliminate the scourge.
So there you have it, in my opinion, based on facts, real news and the ability to read big words.
Postal Service trouble
I have begun to notice expressions of concern from readers about the U.S. Postal Service. Since the USPS was granted the status of an independent agency, but was restricted by law from competing with other carriers (UPS and FedEx are examples), the Congress has consistently refused to provide more money for the upgrading and sustaining of the USPS.
The Washington Post reported that on Aug. 13, President Trump said that he does not want to fund the USPS because "Democrats are seeking to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, making explicit the reason he has declined to approve $25 million in emergency funding for the cash-strapped agency."
Postal services have been made worse by the current Postmaster General, an individual with no experience in this arena, a person who is a crony of POTUS, and a person who apparently has the authority to enact rules and regulations to hamper the delivery of mail to "cut costs."
One letter-writer suggested contacting Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Rep. French Hill. As one who has done so numerous times, I suggest you save your energy. I have sent letters to each on various subjects. I have yet to receive a reply which addressed any concern I expressed.
We're on wrong track
I thought there are laws that forbid any attempt to block access to voting. Apparently the president and the Republicans are hell-bent on restricting voting in the fall election.
I thought this country was a democracy, but then maybe I'm wrong. Seems like we are on the wrong track when it comes to elections.
Too soon to open up
A recent Sunday Democrat-Gazette had a very good guest column, "A teacher's statement of intent" by Jacob W. Morris. One major point was stated, "by the very act of standing in my classroom door, I would be telling my students and their parents: 'See, I'm here; it's safe ... come on in.' This I will not do."
I applaud Mr. Morris. All our teachers need the tools and the space to innovate classroom teaching in this pandemic. The space is the main issue. Some schools are overcrowded already.
Also in that issue there was a very worrisome article, "Data: 62 counties miss safety target." Dr. Deborah Birx was quoted: "If you have high case load ... we're asking people to distance learn at this moment so we can get this epidemic under control."
Pediatric infectious-disease specialist Dr. Tina Q. Tan said areas that are 20 percent positivity rate or higher "definitely should not" open schools for in-person instruction. "You're talking about people's lives here."
In this article 5 percent seemed to be the clear threshold for opening of the schools. There are only 13 counties in Arkansas that meet this criteria. Pulaski County is in the 5-9.9 percent category. Yell County was listed at 31.6 percent!
Governor Hutchinson has noted that the school year had been delayed "to give our communities more time to reduce the spread of the virus." It has not been reduced. Reduction of the curve for 14 days hasn't happened.
Governor Hutchinson and Education Secretary Johnny Key have only required five days of school.
Where is the PPE? Where are the needed funds and the needed space?
Based on no support as noted above and based on the positivity rate in Arkansas of 8.8 percent, in-person schools should not open.
Shouldn't have to die
Re Michael Saucier, whose letter to the editor refuted teachers' attitude across the country for their slogan of "I want to teach but I don't want to die": Since the CDC provides data on the covid-19 mortality rate and the state teacher demographics readily available, we don't have to let our feelings dictate our state's response; we can do the math. With 33,400 certified teachers in this state, an average covid mortality rate of 0.64 percent, coupled with a conservative estimate that half of all teachers would be infected before a vaccine is available in 2021, that would be 107 teachers whose good attitude was not enough to save them.
With Arkansas ranked 42nd in the country in education, we may not be able to afford the loss of that many quality educators, as I am sure their families, friends, and students would agree.
Have it coming to us
If a third of American citizens believe that Democrats are satanic pedophiles and cannibals and can't be swayed by reason, then our country deserves its fate.