Letters to the Editor: September 13, 2020

A lame excuse

President Donald Trump agreed to do 18 interviews with Bob Woodward; fully aware of being taped. He is heard stating that he knew, but didn’t tell the American people, that the coronavirus was much more deadly than strenuous flu (with a mortality rate of 5% vs. 1%) because he didn’t want people to panic. (1) That’s the best laugh I’ve had in awhile since he seems to have no problem spreading rumors to instill panic about everything else.

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Trump raised the alarm about how terrorists are coming across the Mexican border. And about how the Antifa and radical left are going to destroy America. And about the government coming to take away everyone’s guns. And about the Democrats fixing the election with mail-in voting. It seems to me he has done a very good job of purposely inciting panic already by scaring gullible people about the imaginary boogie man many times over.

But when it came to accurately informing people about the reality of a deadly pandemic, laying out a plan that would use our incredible resources to save lives and reassuring citizens that help would be available to get us through? It didn’t happen. Because he isn’t a leader; nor are the Republican politicians who were too cowardly and complicit to stand up to the president and bring the truth to the people.

Woodward is being criticized for not coming forward sooner to warn us that the president was choosing to pretend it was just the flu. That’s an absurd accusation since reputable news media, journalists, medical professionals and Democrats who saw through Trump were already desperately trying to tell the truth about the coronavirus from the beginning.

The people who are most responsible for allowing the U.S. to have more coronavirus deaths than any other country are the Republicans, who spun their sham message in hopes of getting reelected, and Trump voters who went along with his con about fake news instead of medical science.

Martha Hodges

Kailua-Kona

Spread the word

It was very refreshing to read such an intelligent rebuttal to Michelle Melendez’s letter from Leslie Iijima in the Sept. 10 edition. It is very uplifting to know that we have a well-informed person in our midst sharing precise and correct information to counteract the perverse information and conspiracy theories that abound. Everybody needs to read this letter and spread the word so that people are more informed.

Mahalo, Leslie!

Christa Wagner

Kailua Kona

Three reasons

A recently published letter repeating a meme implying that social controls to reduce the spread of coronavirus are unnecessary because flu kills more people per year than the number of deaths from COVID-19 is misleading. For any of your readers that were perhaps too busy to think through this false equivalence, let me point out three reasons why it is entirely misleading:

First, it compares 12 months of deaths from flu to roughly five months (April to August) of deaths from COVID-19.

Second, most importantly, it compares deaths from flu in years with no social controls to COVID-19 deaths that occur in spite of massive intervention, at high economic cost, to prevent the spread of COVID. When similar measures were applied during the second season of the 1918 flu pandemic, most U.S. cities saw an impressive drop in mortality — down to a fraction of previous levels — within weeks. There is already some evidence that Southern Hemisphere countries that are now entering their flu season are seeing flu infections at well below normal levels — likely because social controls enforced to reduce the spread of coronavirus also work to slow the spread of flu virus. There is also impressive data from this year to indicate that, without these measures, mortality from Covid-19 would be many times what has been experienced, dwarfing annual mortality from the flu.

Third, anyone who wants to reduce their chance of getting a severe case of the flu can get an immunization. The only ways to reduce my chances of catching COVID-19 are for me to stay home as much as possible, and for you to wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from me and 6 feet away from anyone who might come into contact with someone who might come into contact with me. If you allow the two viruses to compete on a “level playing field” it is obvious that the 2019 coronavirus is both more contagious and more lethal than any flu we have seen since 1918. Numerous locations in the U.S. and around the world have already seen how relaxing social controls leads to a spike in COVID-19 infections followed by a spike in deaths.

Doug Perrine

Kailua-Kona

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