In light of President Donald Trump’s remarks that, as a self-proclaimed “stable genius,” he “alone can fix” the nation’s problems, that as president he “can do whatever I want,” that he knows “more than the generals,” and the like, it’s hardly surprising that he is now playing the role of doctor-in-chief by promoting the idea that the coronavirus crisis will be resolved in time to have “all the churches full” for Easter Sunday in a couple of weeks.
His insouciance is characterized by his administration’s flaks as intended to give “hope” to the public, reminiscent of his predecessor’s “hope and change” slogan. But if the pandemic doesn’t change substantially for the better in two weeks, the “miracle” that the president forecast a few weeks ago, crowding into pews on Easter may be a matter of “hope and danger” since the real experts are saying that continued social distancing is the best way to curb the spread of the virus.
It makes one wonder which particular church he, a devout non-church-attender, and his family plan to help become “full” on Easter.
And why is he not urging Jews to attend synagogues earlier that week, the beginning of the eight-day Passover celebration, or Muslims filling mosques 11 days later for the start of their holy month of Ramadan?
His aspiration also disregards adherents of the myriad other faiths. It also overlooks those who do not attend any religious facilities as well as nonbelievers. Those latter groups may end up being the safest of all if the public follows the presidential Easter edict.
Isn’t it nice to have a ”stable genius” in charge?
Marshall H. Tanick, Minneapolis
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The U.S. government should take this opportunity to reach out to the Iranian people, who are suffering greatly in the pandemic. Giving what support we can provide in food and medical supplies, while acknowledging we have critical shortages ourselves, would help to cement the positive feelings the Iranian people have toward the people of the United States.
This may even provide a beginning for progress toward a better relationship between our two governments, which has lately verged on a prelude to war.
Joel Carter, Minneapolis
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The U.S. embassy here in Belize has informed us that an emergency evacuation flight is scheduled to depart on Saturday. We declined to fly from relative safety here into a war zone in the United States. We will stay until the end of June as we had intended.
What influenced our decision has been the response from the government of Belize. When the first case was detected in the country — on the island where we live — it was all hands on deck. We were immediately quarantined from the rest of Belize to prevent spreading the virus to the mainland. All fights and water taxis were canceled. Resources were dispatched to trace the infected person’s contacts.
Two days ago, the leader of the majority party and the leader of the minority party spoke as one to all Belizeans. Each leader gave half of the presentation. In addition, health professionals were allowed to speak freely. The politicians spoke about unity and how we are all in this together. They spoke about quarantines and social distancing. They acknowledged the economic damage it will do to the country. They spoke about making money available for those out of work. They spoke about help with utility bills and rent.
Yesterday the government published mandatory rules for all of Belize including social distancing, banning all gatherings of more than 10 people, and providing rules for merchants such as placing markers in waiting lines three feet apart.
We look at the skyrocketing sickness in the U.S., the haphazard approach among states and lack of leadership from Washington. We think maybe there is a lesson to learn from Belize.
Robert Skrentner, Edina
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As people who live in the U.S., we are about to receive a check — personal financial support for the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, many of us have adequate income for our family’s daily needs. It could be good salaries, good hourly pay, or adequate retirement benefits. Many have enough. When we all receive these government payments that we aren’t dependent upon, we urge you to donate the funds to those who have needs for food, medical care, rent or house payments, hospitals or supplies, etc. How can we do this? There are many ways, such as Lutheran Social Service, Catholic Charities, local food banks, schools with food for children, charity food services, hospitals and many others.
Those of you who can, please join in to help others. Many people can really use the help at this time of special need. Recovery will not be easy nor will it be fast.
Vern and Lesley Rylander, Apple Valley
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Many governors are trying desperately to keep the active COVID-19 caseload from overwhelming their medical staff and facilities. That includes rural communities with older populations and diminished acute care capability. Trump’s premature insistence on “putting the country back to work” before the peak of active cases is reached would result in many more deaths than an already dire situation presents. Time for bipartisan refutation of policy with such fatal consequences.
Leslie Everett, Falcon Heights
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As we all venture outside to walk, have recess (from home school) and escape the confines of our homes by maintaining a safe, healthy distance from one another, we need to share space. My biking friends are now getting the tables turned on them with their “share the road” pleas with car folks of times past. Bikers are now are hearing those chants from walkers and runners. My kids know the rules but are occasionally distracted by ducks and muskrats during our “science class” outside.
We can do this, Minnesota! Share the paths, my friends. Be kind. Be aware. Be well!
Susie Valentine, Minneapolis
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There is one nice constant in our lives while being confined to home these days. My wonderful newspaper carrier has both of my morning papers left right at my front door, in the dark, by 5:30 a.m. It is so important to read the news in depth, prepared by talented journalists from around the world.
A paragraph on your phone is not enough. Please support your local news sources and start up your subscription again.
Barb Burleigh, St. Paul
Instead of beefing up the military, beef up our diplomacy skills
Regarding the story “A push for women in the draft” (March 25), subtitled “Congress is urged to require all Americans ages 18-25 to register”: This country has survived 244 years without women registering for the draft; no need to start now. What is needed is a class for all students titled “diplomacy” starting with a minisession for pre-K.
It is time to slash the bloated military budget and spend the money on infrastructure, education and many other improvements that are necessary.
Sharon Fortunak, St. Paul
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