Trump negligent on COVID-19 response

I am writing in response to Keith Costley’s letter (Globe, Sept. 6).

It is true that President Donald Trump is not responsible for the virus; however, he is completely responsible for his negligent response to the virus.

Instead of preparing the country for what was coming, the president was busy denying it and magically wishing it away. He told us in January that we had 15 cases of COVID-19 and that number would be at zero in no time. Today, the U.S. has more than 6 million cases. Donald Trump wasted precious time and thus precious lives.

Trump is a master marketer, and his instincts tell him to weave a wonderful story — filled with “alternative facts” — that gives people what they want to hear. But we needed a leader who could look at the tough reality of what was coming and prepare us. Instead, the president’s denial cost us weeks when we could’ve gotten supplies and procedures in place to minimize the devastation of COVID-19.

President Trump’s denial of reality has led us to this out-of-control pandemic where nearly 200,000 Americans are now dead, and millions of Americans are unemployed. At every turn, Trump has exacerbated the ruin of COVID-19, not lessened it.

The president has not followed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and instead of following its advice and that of the scientific and medical communities, he has turned mask-wearing into a political statement, which has increased our number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and his politicizing of masks has led to further division in our country.

Trump has divided us as a nation every chance he has gotten. He is the first president who has not understood that once elected, he is the president of everyone, not just of those who elected him to office.

I want to return to living in a functional and free country, and because of that, I will vote for Joe Biden.

Ellen Broglio

Joplin

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Vote to get off path of hate and division

I long to feel freedom again.

Freedom to feel our country pulling together, freedom from a pervasive atmosphere of hate, freedom from insulting and divisive tweets.

Freedom from an economy structured to reward those who prioritize their own desires above the needs of their country and fellow Americans.

Freedom to know that our children are safe in school — that they cannot be threatened by bullies carrying guns or a runaway virus.

Freedom to feel safe, seeing that others care about not only their own health but mine as well.

Freedom to know that others also value equality and justice for every American citizen, not just for those who look like themselves.

There is a reason that the World War II generation has been called the Greatest Generation. These men and women put their country and the freedom of strangers in faraway lands first. They put their lives on hold, and they put their lives on the line to protect the world from fascism, nationalism, bigotry and authoritarianism that became Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Our unity of purpose ultimately prevailed because of many selfless people. But where is that selflessness, unity and freedom now?

Unfortunately, I am now seeing attitudes around the world — including in our beloved America — that come closer to the hate, bigotry and extreme nationalism that slowly overtook central Europe in the 1930s.

I see this hate in the speeches that rail against the imagined dangers of electing a different president come November.

I see this hate when people curse the Black Lives Matter movement, not understanding that it came into being only because of the continued slaughter of Black people in our streets.

The soul of this peaceful movement is the concern that so many people — Black, white and brown — feel for those who yearn for justice. It is not the often-after-dark violence fomented by militias, by those who rage in frustration or by those who wish to discredit the movement. Nor is it selfish, opportunistic looters.

I see today’s social justice movements as the modern expression of the kind of love Jesus encouraged his disciples to follow, and that Paul reminds us of in his letter to the Corinthians.

All Americans deserve equality and freedom from injustice. But that will never happen under our present leadership. Fortunately, this still is a democratic republic, and we still have the ability to vote for change to leave this current path of hate and division.

Catherine Rhoades

Neosho