For those supporters of President Donald Trump who continue to claim that COVID-19 is a hoax, who are you going to believe now: the president or the president?
Tom Baumann, Isanti, Minn.
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Trump claims that he lied about the deadly nature of the coronavirus pandemic because he didn’t want the people of this country and around the world to panic (“Trump misled U.S. on virus threat,” front page, Sept. 10).
That train has left the station. He scares me practically every time he opens his mouth.
Tom Noerenberg, Plymouth
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Truth and calm are not mutually exclusive. It is what a doctor does. It is what a leader does. It is what a president should be able to do.
Laura Isensee, Eden Prairie
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The next time you hear the current occupant of the White House belittle the mental acuity of Joe Biden, consider which presidential candidate agreed to 18 self-incriminating, on-the-record, taped interviews with a journalist who shared a Pulitzer Prize for bringing down a prior corruption-ridden presidency.
Chris Malecek, Mendota Heights
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Trump says the reason he played down the threat of COVID-19 was because he’s a “cheerleader” for our country and wanted us to remain calm. Putting aside the fact that the work of a cheerleader is not to calm people down, we don’t need our presidents to be cheerleaders. We need them to be the coach — the one who studies our opponent, creates a strategy to win and calls the plays. Not stand on the sidelines and lead jee— er, cheers.
Kate Roeder, Minneapolis
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It seems to me that we have two villains in this new revelation.
Bob Woodward knew that Trump lied since February about a major national disaster of unprecedented proportions, and he waited for over six months to reveal that.
Smells fishy. Not that the story in itself is not true, but one wonders if the motivation is financial or political.
Something to ponder.
ZVi Frankfurt, Minneapolis
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In August 1974, a bipartisan group of U.S. congressmen went to the Oval Office to speak with President Richard Nixon. Their mission was to inform the president that he would be impeached and that there were ample votes in the Senate to convict him. Rather than face this disgrace, Nixon opted to resign the presidency.
It is time once again for a group of U.S. congresspeople to meet with a sitting president to explain the realities of his situation. The case against Trump is far more serious than the case against Nixon was in 1974. In addition to the articles of impeachment already charged against the president in his earlier trial, we now must deal with his further wrongdoing as spelled out (mostly in the president’s own words) in Woodward’s new book, “Rage.” In particular, a horrific loss of life can be attributed to Trump’s decision to lie about how deadly he knew the coronavirus was. This lie lulled many Americans into a false sense of security and led directly to the nation’s utterly unacceptable response to the pandemic and the tragic loss of life that resulted.
I urge the House Judiciary Committee to immediately draw up new articles of impeachment for action and submission to the Senate by the middle of October. In the meantime, the Republican leadership of the Senate can begin the count for votes for conviction. Members of the Senate who love their country have an opportunity to spare her the agony of an actual vote.
H. Ward Lyndall, Minneapolis
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In his own voice early on, Trump acknowledged that he knew that COVID-19 was a very serious national threat. But for weeks, in multiple public statements, he said that it was not a significant threat and that it would soon go away. He now says that the disjuncture between what he knew and what he said was because he did not want the public to “panic.”
For the president of the United States to believe and to repeatedly act upon the belief that — if told the truth — the American public would panic seems to me to be deeply insulting to the American people.
Alan Youel, Richfield
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Almost 3,000 people died 19 years ago on Sept. 11. Those attacks were taken seriously by our Republican president at the time, resulting in massive governmental and societal changes. So far in 2020, over 190,000 people have been killed by COVID-19. That’s more than 63 Sept. 11s! Yet our current Republican president admits on tape that he wanted to play down the effects of the coronavirus in order to avoid a panic, rather than providing the leadership needed to drive the governmental response and behavioral changes that would actually reduce the killing.
At about 1,000 deaths per day, the U.S. has been running more than two 9/11s of deaths per week, and it will be an achievement whenever we get the deaths down to “just” one 9/11 per week. Yet so many people (including our president) resist mitigating governmental public health and economic actions, as well as individual behavioral changes like face coverings and social distancing. What’s going on?
Carla Pavone, Minneapolis
Electors must meet. But not Dec. 14.
The Electoral College is a constitutional requirement, but the day it meets to determine the election’s winner is set by federal law. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has introduced legislation to move the federal deadline for states to finish counting votes and certify electors from Dec. 8 to Jan. 1 and to postpone the Electoral College meeting from Dec. 14 to Jan. 2. This would give state and local election officials additional time to confront the challenges of substantially increased mail-in voting.
Inauguration Day would still adhere to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which clearly states that “the terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.” That is, after the expiration of a four-year term, a president who has not been re-elected must leave office.
Sen. Rubio’s legislation requires congressional passage and a presidential signature, so I ask your help to raise public awareness and support for it, and I ask my fellow Minnesotans to encourage our senators and representatives to pass this helpful initiative and our president to sign it into law.
Thank you for your kind consideration.
Scott Limpert, Edina
Pass me the sports pages and my anatomical chart
Another week of catching up on sports injuries. Another week of being challenged to decipher the reports without having a dictionary handy. Maybe it’s just me, though I consider myself fairly well versed in the English language.
Among the latest reports: patella tendinitis; right intercostal strain; right oblique; adductor. Wouldn’t it be much simpler — and more understandable to readers — to describe the injuries as a sore knee, strained chest muscle, abdominal soreness and stretched thigh muscle?
As a former editor, I am quite familiar with the communications jargon passed along that is usually better suited for medical journals. It doesn’t only happen in the sports world.
Accident reports from law enforcement are another great example as they identify the occupants suffering abrasions and contusions. That’s better. We even went one step further, describing the injuries as scrapes and bruises.
I encourage reporters and editors to translate injuries into plain speak. Then again, maybe I’m just distracted by cephalgia and off my A game.
Jim Pumarlo, Red Wing, Minn.
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