The treatment isn’t really free
Gov. DeSantis announces local antibody treatment sites | Aug. 20
Monoclonal antibody treatments are not free. They are bought and paid for by the federal government, with our tax dollars. The facilities that are used are paid for by someone, most likely our insurance or tax dollars. The staff in those facilities do not work for free. Someone has to pay them, in the end, probably taxpayers. None of those things are “free.” When Gov. Ron DeSantis repeatedly says they are “free,” someone should ask him who is bearing the costs for the staff and the facilities? He should be held accountable. We deserve to know the price — and who is paying it.
Ray Eydmann, Brandon
Poll finds Biden support slipping | Aug. 22
While public opinion polls often are flawed, not always providing an accurate metric for presidential approval, the most recent numbers on President Joe Biden are worrisome for Democrats. His overall approval rating has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since he was elected. In addition, his approval on handling of the economy is below 50 percent, and his handling of the pandemic dropped over 20 points since April. Worse yet, numbers on Biden’s handling of Afghanistan now are upside down, with only 25 percent approving.
This is extremely troublesome for the Democratic Party, especially as we get closer to the 2022 elections. As a scholar who taught and studied political communication for more than 40 years, I thing the president’s discourse about Afghanistan in the last week has been ineffective, if not disastrous. Much of what Biden says is not only inconsistent but doesn’t match what in real time is transpiring on the ground, as well as what many military and intelligence experts report. If Biden cannot regain rhetorical control of the situation, his domestic agenda and proposed legislation may be undermined, the U.S. position in the world might be hurt and the Democratic Party could be in severe jeopardy in the 2022 off-year elections
One additional point must be made: For those who think the media treatment of Donald Trump was/is always negative, check out how networks like CNN and MSNBC are covering Biden. They are harshly discussing his lack of a plan to exit safely from Afghanistan. So what does that mean? Criticizing presidents inherently creates drama and hence becomes an opportunity for networks to increase viewership. In short, it’s not primarily political leanings but money that motivates media coverage of the news.
Richard Cherwitz, Austin, Texas
A big continent
Census swells Fla. ranks | Aug. 13
When newspapers and others use the term “Asian,” what do they mean? Do they really mean 60 percent of the entire population of the planet? I doubt it. If so, it is not very definitive or helpful. That is a very broad range of nationalities and cultures that are very different from one another. I doubt that most readers even know who that actually includes. I don’t.
Joe Crites, Clearwater
Stopping Red Tide
Legislators tackle the Tide | Aug. 23
I am glad that our Legislature has finally realized that the environment is not something that we can just ignore, a problem that will go away if people just do nothing. Now if they would just listen to the experts on the field and follow their recommendations.
Carlos DeCisneros, Tampa
How about 0 cases?
State’s seniors remain at risk | Aug. 22
Gov. Ron DeSantis shared his priorities with us, saying he would “rather have 5,000 cases amongst 20-year-olds than 500 cases among seniors.” I will share my priorities, I would rather have 0 cases amongst 20-year-olds and 0 cases among seniors! Seriously, governor, every life matters. The very thought of a child or senior or anyone in a hospital COVID unit is just beyond my comprehension. When vaccinations, mask and distancing would be so beneficial to everyone, why isn’t everyone vaccinated, wearing a mask and social distancing? I simply don’t understand.
Judy Lavaron, St. Petersburg