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Australia deals with COVID far better than Florida | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Sunday’s letters to the editor.
A passenger travels through Sydney Airport in Australia. International tourists won't be welcomed back to Australia until next year, with the return of skilled migrants and students given higher priority, the prime minister said on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
A passenger travels through Sydney Airport in Australia. International tourists won't be welcomed back to Australia until next year, with the return of skilled migrants and students given higher priority, the prime minister said on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File) [ RICK RYCROFT | AP ]
Published Oct. 10

Australia vs. Florida on COVID

Ron DeSantis blasts Australian COVID-19 rules

One has to thank your state’s governor for bringing global attention to the success of Australia’s effective COVID approach compared to that of his own administration. But one must also point out the inaccuracies in his remarks. Firstly, there has been no military enforcement. All military involvement has been the deployment for the vaccine rollout and implementation of services associated with the control and curtailment of this abominable virus.

It is also to be noted that in Australia the two major opposing political parties have worked together in support of an effort to stem the spread and impact of this calamity. As has been previously noted,, Australia’s uptake of the vaccinations started off slower than anticipated, primarily due to the almost non-existent impact of the virus in the majority of the nation, culminating in a complacency, with regards to vaccinations, this is well and truly past, and Australia’s rate is now comparable to the United States’.

The point the governor DeSantis didn’t seem to elaborate on was the minor impact this virus has had in Australia, when shown as a mortality rate. As of Wednesday, our total death toll nationally was 1,379 (in a nation with a population under 26 million). That harshly reflects the atrocious death toll of 56,000 persons in Florida, which has a population of about 22 million, not that dissimilar from Australia’s.

The comments DeSantis made are both dishonest and disingenuous to the people of Australia, who have gone to extraordinary lengths to look out for, support and protect their countrymen. And the bottom line is, now that vaccination rates are at an acceptable level, Australia will open up to near normal existence, with nothing but sadness in our hearts for the family members grieving the loss of more than 700,000 loved ones in the United States.

Peter Harms, Cottesloe, Western Australia

No third time

The 22nd Amendment

Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016. He has stated many times that he also won the election in 2020, and a majority of Republicans agree. With me so far? The 22nd Amendment states, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.” If he actually was elected in 2020, then he is not eligible to run again. If we’re going to adhere to the letter of the Constitution, then he’s not eligible to run.

Tracy Fugleberg, Tampa

Your vote matters

Elections

Don’t like the lack of mask mandates? Concerned about abortion? Worried about what is happening with infrastructure problems? Remember this when you vote in the 2022 elections.

Marilyn Warner, Clearwater

Truth and reconciliation

Critical race theory

During a Fox News interview, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wouldn’t run for president because he’s busy “trying to make sure people are not supporting critical race theory.” Recently, my wife and I happened to be in Canada on the first-ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a new statutory holiday to commemorate the victims and survivors of Canada’s 140 federally run residential schools that operated from 1831-1998 after hundreds of Indigenous children’s remains were found in unmarked graves at these schools in early 2021. We observed the day (Sept. 30) by going to the Kelowna, B.C., Okanagan Heritage Museum where the volunteers and employees did an excellent job of sharing information and answering all questions to children and adults of all ages. There was no attempt to make anyone feel guilty! Canada is by no means is perfect, but the holiday is a start as the country came together as one. It was all about two words, truth and reconciliation.

Neil Armstrong, Bradenton

Test older drivers

Senior drivers

It’s time to make senior drivers prove their ability behind the wheel. Every week I read at least one or two articles about a senior driver involved in an often fatal auto accident. Why can’t we have testing for senior drivers, say, past the age of 75? I’m a senior, and I’m all for it. Someone whose vision, coordination and reflexes are in serious decline should not be on the road endangering others. Often, these seniors don’t even realize or are in denial of their reduced abilities. A written and physical driver’s test can reveal cognitive issues and prevent future injuries or deaths. While losing the ability to drive can be a great loss of personal freedom, there are so many alternatives to driving one’s personal vehicle. Most towns have Uber, buses, county-sponsored “dial a ride” services and many other charitable organizations to assist the elderly in transportation. It’s time now.

Cindy Smith, Sun City Center