Can I give my COVID-19 vaccination to a Florida teacher? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Saturday’s letters to the editor.
A droplet falls from a syringe after a health care worker was injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
A droplet falls from a syringe after a health care worker was injected with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. [ DAVID GOLDMAN | AP ]
Published Jan. 16, 2021

Give my shot away

Bayfront Health St. Petersburg opens coronavirus vaccines to seniors | Jan. 13

I have a serious request. I am a Baby Boomer who is close to outliving my usefulness. Can the Florida Department of Health set up a program wherein someone in my geezer demographic can give their vaccine appointment to a teacher or school staffer who are indeed on the front lines and responsible for educating and mentoring this generation of very scared students in Pinellas County and all of Florida.? Who can make this happen?

Marie Gilda, Pinellas Park

Big Tech has rights, too

After Capitol assault, Florida lawmakers target social media bans | Jan. 13

Note to the legislators seeking to punish “Big Tech” for banning certain users: Your are wrong, and you are hypocritical. The Constitution plainly says that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.” FaceBook, Twitter and Amazon are not “Congress.” They are private shareholder businesses, and if they choose not to host writers who persistently lie, attempt to inflame anger or to incite riots, they have every right to ban them. Ironically, those now damning Big Tech are the very people who ardently supported the right of a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. You can’t have it both ways.

Stephen Phillips, St. Petersburg

Enough with charges of ‘socialism’

Democrats aren’t socialists. They are National Football League capitalists | Letters, Jan. 13

Joe Biden’s plans to raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy to help fund programs that aid working class people such as more affordable health care, child care, housing, higher education and skills training is not “socialism,” as charged by President Donald Trump and others. The program is hand-up pragmatism and humanitarianism within our great free enterprise system. The program will “promote the general welfare” as stated in the preamble to our Constitution. It will do much more to unite our country and to protect us from Trump’s continuing divisive and toxic influence than it will to impeach him, however much he deserves it.

Arthur Pitchenik, Miami

Back of the line for snowbirds

Can ‘snowbirds’ get the COVID-19 vaccine in Florida? It’s complicated | Dec. 30

I was very disheartened and quite livid to hear the news that snowbirds were being allowed to get the vaccine, taking it away from those of us who live here full time. We were told not to travel — we stayed put. These people traveled to Florida, bringing their germs with them, and then take a vaccination that could have gone to a senior who lives here full time? This is not right. They should be put at the end of the line, after full-time Floridians are vaccinated.

Joyce Lindsey, Tarpon Springs

Watch out Democrats!

What Florida House members said about impeaching Donald Trump | Editorial, Jan. 13

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I fear that congressional Democrats are being set up for a other PR disaster by the perfidious Mitch McConnell and his merry band of Republican henchmen in the Senate. In spite of his professions of anger and hatred for Donald Trump’s actions of Jan. 6, McConnell will always do all he can to promote and protect the Republican Party, including another embarrassing defeat of Democrats by refusing again to allow a fair trial of his presidential stooge. Beware the troll of the Senate — he a wily one.

Jane Sellick, Palmetto

Is there a COVID plan?

Florida’s vaccine rollout so far: not enough doses, ‘no real plan’ | Jan. 9

Where does the failure lie in our COVID-19 vaccination plan here in Tampa Bay? I am an 84-year-old Army retiree, and Vietnam veteran. I have a pre-existing heart problem. I registered at the Florida Health Department site for COVID-19. I then called the line to get an appointment. After over an hour of constant calling, I finally got a computer voice telling me there is an over four-hour wait to speak to someone, but that if I wished they would hold my place in line and call me back. I opted for that option. I received no call back. The next day during my call hours of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m, I called again. This time I got a recording telling me that all appointments have been filled and to wait for later instructions.

I have a younger brother, 82 years of age with a wife of 74 who live in Tennessee. They have both already been vaccinated and have an appointment for the follow-on vaccination. Perhaps our health officials need to consult with those in Tennessee to determine how to run a mass vaccination program.

James Stuart Emery, lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army (Retired), Valrico,

Primary care docs can help

Florida’s vaccine rollout so far: not enough doses, ‘no real plan’ | Jan. 9

I can truly think of no real reason to bypass the huge network of primary care doctors in the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The concept of inequality of distribution is not compelling. There is a national lament that primary care has been in a slow death spiral largely promulgated by a well-documented disparity in income between specialist and primary care doctors. So at an opportunity to buoy the income of primary care we turn the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine over to the state of Florida and a grocery store. Is it the thought that primary care doctors are unaware of who their high risk patients are? That is insulting. So a two-minute interview over the phone supplants a 20-30 year doctor-patient relationship.

Kent R. Corral, M.D., Tampa

Let’s go with no cars

Tampa citizens imagine Ashley Drive without existing I-275 exit ramps | Jan. 13

It is increasingly clear that for a number of years Tampa’s elite have decided that the city should be an auto free zone. In keeping with this theory, I suggest that there may soon be a surplus of barrier wall materials available from the federal government. If obtained, the city could build a wall across the roads accessing the the peninsula with access cuts for the sole use of bicycles and pedestrians. Cross walks and traffic lights will no longer be necessary, as these people don’t acknowledge or obey them anyway. The parking garages could be used for skateboarding. Furthermore I think the proposed upgrades to the interstate should include bike lanes, baby carriage lanes, walking trails, and roundabouts. What a boon for business, tourism and the revitalization of downtown.

William Powell, Tampa