Doctors upbeat about Trump | Oct. 5
A bubble that is too easily burst
All Americans should wish for the speedy recovery of the president and, morally, everyone should always wish good health to everyone else. A COVID-19 outbreak in the White House holds important lessons, particularly as this setting had many advantages seldom available to the rest of us.
Given the scale of the reservoir of infections, no setting has a bubble, and transmission can only be mitigated by personal protective measures, which have tended to be, paradoxically, better observed in relatively low-risk exposure contexts than in settings where the risk is actually higher (odds are you know the person who infected you). Even with testing rates and turnaround times far superior to what is generally available, inadequate tracing and quarantine in the White House extended their outbreak avoidably.
It is correct to say that the White House failed to protect itself, and the karmic temptation is there — this what happens when you are casual with masks. There is truth in this, but also insufficiency. The useful takeaway is that our governments, at all levels, did little or nothing to systematically reduce the reservoir of infections.
Pat Byrne, Largo
What’s next after Trump’s positive coronavirus test | Column, Oct. 5
Why we need masks
The spread of the coronavirus in the White House is a sad, but cautionary tale for our country. The best prevention from its spread is wearing masks indoors in public and social distancing. Not doing so endangers the rest of us.
Georgia Earp, St. Petersburg
I expected better of Biden | Column, Oct. 5
No need to ‘show’ strength
Like columnist Leonard Pitts, I too expected better of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the first debate, but realize that many Americans crave a “show” of perceived strength and superiority tied to an argumentive, essentially sparring contest. This seems to be the current perception of debate in the times we live in. I think Biden foolishly responded to pressure from those who believe candidates need this quality. Strong presidential candidates do not need to argue. They need to see past this mentality and deal with situations to find the best possible remedies for situations without escalating the conflict. There is a time to be strong in action, and statements of warning towards aggression to our democracy, but verbal agitation is a childish trait that has no place in the leadership of our nation.
Bill Haisch, St. Petersburg
VP debate takes on more importance | Column, Oct. 5
A stumble, not incoherence
The column by Peggy Noonan rightly critiqued both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden for their performances in the so-called debate last Tuesday. However, while alluding to Vice President Biden she called him “… a befuddled man who struggles to carry a thought to its conclusion …” As an example she quotes him as incoherent when he said “The 20 — the 200 mil — the 200,000 people who have died on his watch ...” Vice President Biden suffers from stuttering, a condition he has had since childhood, and an obstacle he at times encounters in public speaking. If you know his history, you can see his stumble over this statement as a stutter, rather than an example of incoherence.
Linda Quinn, Dade City
Tense protest ends peacefully | Photo, Oct. 5
Black Lives Matter demonstrators can do high-fives, pat each other on their backs and go home, having done a good job. Look at the photo on page 3A of the Monday paper, “Tense Protest Ends Peacefully,” which shows a huge majority of non-Black people attending the protest against racism and police violence. Now is the time, protesters, to cement your gains. Invite neutral acquaintances over for a cookout and quietly lay out to them the way forward. Further demonstrations are political theater.
Timothy Armstrong, Dunedin