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I worked for Publix, but I’m disappointed now | Letters

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

Publix should do more

Last in line: Publix lagged behind competitors in COVID-19 safeguards | April 30

Thank you for covering the lack of response to protecting their employees by Publix. Since this started, I have seen their lack of concern for those that work for them. While other retailers have done everything in their power to keep their employees safe, Publix has been at best slow to act. They put up shields at the register later than other stores, and those shields are so minimal it is laughable. They not only did not provide masks, but did not allow employees to wear their own for fear it would scare customers. In the last week, they have finally allowed employees to wear their own masks after pressure started mounting.

I worked for Publix when I was in high school. They were a great company to work for and I have encouraged my students — and even my son — to pursue jobs with them. I will no longer do so, as it has become clear they no longer have the best interest of their employees as a priority. I have stopped shopping at Publix as well. Between Aldi and Costco, I can replace what I bought at Publix and support companies that are using my money to keep their employees safe.

Deborah Pettingill, Largo

It’s April Fool’s, right?

Reliable death count hard to come by in Fla. | April 29

State officials have stopped releasing the list of coronavirus deaths being compiled by Florida’s medical examiners, which has at times shown a much higher death toll than the official state count. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

Please tell me that your story about state officials pushing to remove important information from reports of deaths in Florida was a poorly timed April Fool’s joke. As ethics officer for the Tampa Bay chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and adjunct professor of communication/public relations at the University of Tampa, this action on the state’s part, if true (which, sadly, I believe to be the case), is an insult to all residents of our state. And it goes against everything that I “preach” to my students day in and day out ‘‘Tell the truth because, whether you like it or not, the public will find out.”

Kirk Hazlett, Riverview

This is not the right time

Joe Biden silent on 1993 sexual assault allegation | April 30

In this an. 7, 2020 file photograph, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden gestures during a foreign policy statement in New York. [RICHARD DREW | AP]

A charge of sexual assault leveled at former Vice President Joe Biden ran on your front page this morning. This is very worrisome, whether or not the charge is true. Like most of the media, you have virtually ignored Mr. Biden’s campaign while giving endless space to President Donald Trump, who is using his press briefings not to inform but to campaign and spread erroneous and dangerous information while suppressing medical experts. These are not presidential briefings but virtual campaign rallies. Yet Biden, the certain Democrat nominee, is denied equal time to respond. Yet you saw fit to push the sex scandal story straight to the front page, which is certain to hurt Biden. The presidential election is in six months, and there has never been a more important one, yet the campaign isn’t even being covered. In the absence of open campaigning, the Times should give some space to the Biden campaign to respond to Trump’s daily proclamations. This is likely to be the only campaigning we’ll see this year, and time is running out. Ignoring Biden’s views and opinions is an injustice to the voters. We can’t afford a re-run of the media’s missteps in 2016. Report on the Biden campaign, not just unproven accusations made against him.

Allen Wiener, Clearwater Beach

Why is Trump like this?

Trump’s latest gig: rabble-rouser in chief | April 24

President Donald Trump speaks during an event to sign a proclamation in honor of World Nurses Day, in the Oval Office of the White House, May 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) [EVAN VUCCI | AP]

Armed men stormed the Michigan statehouse this week, demanding that the governor change the stay-at-home orders put in place to help stem the mounting tide of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Then President Donald Trump tweets, “The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.” So not only did the president call armed terrorists “very good people” but he also proposed making a deal with terrorists.

Did you ever in your life think we’d see a president of the United States take such a position?

Jerry Nepon-Sixt, Tampa

Not the best use

Wait soon over for Social Security recipients | April 29

In this March 22, 2013 file photo, the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. A [SUSAN WALSH | AP]

This article says the people on Social Security were hurting because of the delay in the stimulus checks. Why? The virus did not cost them a job. I am retired also. I have actually saved money in these 44 days. No more eating out, no nails done, no haircuts, no just-for-fun shopping at my favorite stores. And I have to say I am very upset with the elderly and vulnerable population. We shut down our economy supposedly to keep them safe and they are out doing whatever they want. Still getting together to play bridge, going to dinner at friends’ homes. No thought for the people who are out of work and unable to feed themselves or pay their rent. Nurses are being let go from our elective surgeries. Restaurants will not all open up whenever we are finally allowed to go out. Stores will no longer have brick-and-mortar businesses.

This is an epic disaster. Those checks didn’t go to people who needed them. It was a “feel-good” bandage the country could ill afford.

Linda Allred, New Port Richey

System needs work

Rejected jobless workers told to re-apply | April 29

Hillsborough County Library Service employee Stephen Duran wears a mask and gloves to protect himself from the coronavirus outbreak as he hands out unemployment paperwork April 14, 2020, at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Public Library in Tampa. [CHRIS O'MEARA | AP]

The failure of Florida’s unemployment system now harms many of our hard-working citizens and will severely hamper Florida’s economic recovery. Even many of those fortunate enough to file claims, and have them accepted, have now learned they were denied benefits in error. While it is surely true that the sheer volume of claims filed has overwhelmed the system, there is no doubt that this is a system intended to discourage legitimate claims. This failure can only be attributed to legions of Republican leaders across Florida who have consistently marginalized the interests of those out of work. This indifference will cause hundreds of thousands of Floridians to go hungry, to go without medical care and to lose housing.

Finn Kavanagh, Tampa