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  1. Opinion

Florida’s workers are not afraid of the unknown. They’re afraid for their safety. | Letters

Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.

The real issue for workers is safety

In response to: Weights have been lifted | May 19

More than a week after Gov. Ron DeSantis began to remove public health protections across Florida, doctors, nurses, home health care workers, janitors and other service employees are still in a crisis responding to the pandemic. Workers are still dying every day because they are forced to work without proper personal protective equipment and are being denied the testing they need.

DeSantis has said that Florida’s biggest obstacle in overcoming this pandemic was fear. As a registered nurse, I know this is not true. Working people are not afraid of the unknown that comes with lifting these protections. Instead, we are afraid for our lives and the safety of our communities. By lifting protections now, DeSantis is risking undoing the strides we as a community have achieved in the last two months by staying home.

The Service Employees International Union and its members have been working tirelessly to protect working people in Florida and across the country, calling for fully funded and accessible health care, paid leave and 100 percent-paid testing and treatment for COVID-19.

Floridians want this pandemic to end. But until we are able to prevent, detect, treat, and recover from this illness, all of us are at risk. As governor, DeSantis’ number one job is to keep us safe. We need him to take the steps necessary to protect all workers in the state of Florida.

Martha Baker

The writer is a registered nurse and president of SEIU State Council.

How Noonan ‘hooks’ readers

In response to: Lockdown’s class struggle | Column, May 18

I quit reading Peggy Noonan’s opinions a long time ago because I do not trust her sneaky techniques. She always starts off her articles logically and reasonably enough and then when she has you “hooked,” she slips the knife into the ribs.

Her opinion is a partially veiled indictment of Democratic governors, accusing them of fomenting class divisions, all the while stoking other divisions. She purports to be speaking for the downtrodden. When have the Republicans ever done that? They represent the real class division; wealthy and everybody else.

Curtis Schonher, Brandon

Florida needs a clear plan

In response to: Preparing for deep budget cuts | Editorial, May 17

The State of Florida Capitol complex in Tallahassee [Times (2012)]

Thanks to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board for its warning of dangers to the Florida state budget because of the pandemic. At the beginning of his term, Gov. Ron DeSantis allocated tax dollars in a way that showed admirable leadership skills. Unfortunately, he’s demonstrated less than stellar leadership in response to the pandemic. We need the governor to tell us his plans to deal with the remaining challenges of the pandemic, how he’s going to handle a predictable budget deficit, and how at the same time he will deal with hurricanes hitting our shores. It’s hard to maintain optimism with a bunch of possibly simultaneous challenges and no going-forward plan.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Don’t blame the victims

May 19 letters

CONNECT, the state's unemployment website, was down for maintenance. [Florida Department of Economic Opportunity]

I was so, so glad to see the raft of letters to the editor justly excoriating Gov. Ron DeSantis for his Mini-Trump blame game, blaming the truly victimized for their lack of success with a state unemployment compensation system designed by DeSantis’ party to fail.

Steve Douglas, St. Petersburg

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