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Pandemic non-believers will learn their lesson | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Friday’s letters to the editor.

Pandemic surge

Give them a hard lesson

In my opinion, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, President Donald Trump and the other non-believers in the seriousness of the pandemic should be instructed in the actuality of the deaths from COVID-19. In World War II, the U.S. Army “helped” instruct the German people who ignored the death camps by giving them a close-up look at the carnage. Cruz would not have to go far to see the bodies from Texas hospitals currently stored in refrigerated trucks.

Michael Hughes, Land O Lakes

The Trump Undertow will have a longlasting impact | Column Nov. 20

Undertow. Really?

Columnist Hugh Hewitt picked a poor analogy of President Donald Trump’s influence. As with real undertows (which we in Florida know are dangerous), any future “Trump undertow” can be deadly. An example: The more than 257,000 people who have died as a result of Trump’s inattention and inaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bob McCarty, Valrico

A bogus dispute is doing real harm | Column Nov. 23

Noonan has no standing

Columnist Peggy Noonan has no place calling out the horrendous behavior of the president and his ridiculous claims of voter fraud. You printed a column she wrote the day before the election saying that she was throwing away her vote, even though she knew the harm President Donald Trump would cause if he won. Her choice could have helped further empower this president.

Ann Jamieson, St. Petersburg

Ecosystem threat

Tegus are a menace

The Argentine black and white Tegu is a large lizard, a voracious omnivore that devours almost anything it can find, which is why the invasive species presents such a grave threat to Florida and the southeast. Tegus can consume local crops such as seeds and fruits, impacting local farmers and damaging their businesses. They also consume live prey, like insects, mice, and fish, as well as eggs and hatchlings of other reptiles, including gopher tortoises and American alligators.

Tegus have been a part of the exotic pet trade in the United States for decades, with early estimates of their invasion into the wild as early as 2000 due to owner release. In Florida alone, there have been thousands of tegu reports from Miami to Tampa Bay to Tallahassee, and into Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has already stated that non-native species can be humanely killed by local citizens, and several programs have been established that specialize in trapping and relocating tegus if discovered. But greater action must be taken in Hillsborough County, as well as Florida, to combat this mobile and dangerous threat.

Tegus have the potential to do damage to more than just our local ecosystems, but rather take over the entire southeast and the native species that inhabit it. They pose risks to threatened species, farmers, and even pet owners, which means that actions are needed to be taken now before the problem becomes much worse. Hillsborough County, along with the rest of Florida, stands as the frontline against these foreign invaders, making it a necessity for educating local communities and increasing the removal of this species.

Jake Gerardi, Tampa

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