Why is Fred Piccolo still on state payroll? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
Fred Piccolo
Fred Piccolo [ Twitter ]
Published Jan. 5, 2021

DeSantis spokesman resigns in move he says came before COVID-19 tweet | Jan. 1

We hired this guy?

This is in reference to the story about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ communications director, Fred Piccolo, resigning as his spokesman, for making an insensitive, moronic tweet on Christmas Eve.

As the article points out, he did not resign, but merely transferred, to the office of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. My question is why somebody so ignorant, and so opinionated, is still employed by the state of Florida at all?

For example, the article says: “He questioned the efficacy of mask-wearing and mask mandates at least 16 times.” Research, not opinion, will show that mask-wearing is one of most important things we can do to stop the spread of the virus. But even worse is the ignorant statement that “COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu,” a statement favored by President Donald Trump’s sycophants. A quick search of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website shows that the worst flu in the last decade took 61,000 lives, compared to more than 350,000 deaths from coronavirus in less than a year.

My question is, why is the state of Florida employing someone this biased and ignorant in, of all places, the Department of Education?

Colin Povey, Clearwater

Higher bar to become a citizen | Jan. 1

Would Americans pass?

Now that the citizenship test has been made more difficult, perhaps we should require all citizens to take the test. And, if they fail, their citizenship is revoked. My guess is we would return to a much simpler test and, even then, I’m not sure how many Americans would pass.

Paul Carder, St. Petersburg

Josh Hawley reminds us that the GOP is the sedition party | Jan. 2

An endorsement of popular vote

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley plans to object to Electoral College votes on January 6. In the meantime, he’s sending out a fund-raising message that says: “We must ensure that one vote means one vote in America.” That sounds like an endorsement of popular vote versus the Electoral College. He should be careful what he wishes for. Maybe he doesn’t remember who won the popular vote in 2000 and in 2016.

Paul Cooper, St. Petersburg

Hillsborough seniors can sign up for vaccine Monday | Jan. 1

On vaccines, be proactive

I just saw your article informing Hillsborough County residents over 65 years old that they can sign up for the vaccine on Monday, Jan. 4. The article states that only 1,500 doses will be administered. The article also states that once those 1,500 doses are assigned, there will not be a waiting list. That means that once a new batch of vaccine becomes available, people over 65 years old will have to go through the whole process again. Who came up with this idea?

Why not allow for people who don’t make the cut on Monday to enter a waiting list? Then, when new doses are available, the county officials can notify those on the waiting list. That is called being proactive.

Antonio J. Ramos, Lutz

Senate GOP ties other demands to Trump’s $2,000 stimulus checks | Dec. 31

A play to appease Trump

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s opposition to $2,000 stimulus checks doesn’t have a point, it has a pill — a poison pill. Two of them, in fact, to make sure the bill is certain to die.

There are reasons to oppose the $2,000 stimulus checks. But this was just a political play to appease Trump.

William Carroll, St. Petersburg