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Letters to the Editor

Coronavirus

Amy Lathen’s hair-on-fire letter to the editor in last month’s edition of the NFH cannot go unanswered.Ms. Lathen wrote “I pray that everyone will hear the actual words being spoken by some of these governors and mayors through the life-saving filter of FREEDOM.”Further on, she wrote “We must absolutely fight this virus and obey health experts for a period of time,” with the implication that the period will be over whenever she decides it’s over.Stay-at-home orders are the only thing this country has to protect its citizens from this pandemic because we don’t have enough testing.South Korea verified its first case of coronavirus the same day, January 20, as the United States. South Korea has 238 deaths due to coronavirus. The United States has over 46,000 deaths as of this writing (and that’s only counting people who died in hospitals).South Korea has tested one in every 119 of its people. The United States has tested 1 in every 273 of its people and has tested less in April than in previous months. Germany, with the lowest fatality rate of all, has tested 1 in 90 of its people.Testing works, and we don’t have it.We don’t have enough test kits, protective equipment nor the swabs needed to obtain test samples nor the chemicals to process them. We don’t have any of that because of a catastrophic failure of the federal government to prepare and execute a plan to respond to this virus effectively. Months after this became a pandemic in our country, the only people being tested are those sick enough to be admitted to a hospital (and NBA players). Meanwhile our doctors and nurses are dying as they try to save lives.The reason for our low testing rate is obvious: President Trump said on camera on March 7, when our country had only 19 deaths and 437 known cases and he was trying to prevent Americans trapped on a cruise ship from being unloaded in California, “I like the numbers being where they are.”It wasn’t so long ago ó shortly after 9/11 ó that people were shrieking “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.” Why isn’t Ms. Lathen shrieking that now that the virus has killed 15 times the number of people who died on 9/11? And they are dying alone and scared because this virus is too contagious for family members to be present.Instead, we have Glenn Beck saying “even if we all get sick, Iíd rather die than kill the country.” In Beck’s imaginary world, “I would rather have my children stay home and have all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working,” as if the people over 50 won’t get the virus and bring it home to their families.Bill O’Reilly said, “Many people who are dying both here and around the world, were on their last legs anyway.” When did we become a country where no lives matter?If Ms. Lathen really wants to find a threat to the Constitution, she should look at what Attorney General William Barr did in March when he asked Congress to, in effect, suspend habeas corpus for the duration of this and any declared emergency. That means a person could be arrested and never brought before a judge until the emergency is declared over. That doesn’t sound like freedom to me.Ms. Lathen concluded by saying we should pray for President Trump because he “has the weight of the world on his shoulders.”I don’t think so, because, after all, on March 13, he did say, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”Kathy WallaceSuquamish, WA(Kathy Wallace was a long-time resident of Falcon before she moved to Washington.)

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