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The United States is quickly approaching the infamous statistic of 200,000 deaths from COVID-19.

When we as a country come to terms with tragedies such as this, we offer moments of silence to remember and recognize the event. Unfortunately, there is another statistic that also comes into play: If we gave a one-minute eulogy for each of the 200,000 victims without stopping, it would take us four and a half months to get through it. That is horrifying.

Even more horrifying is that this did not have to happen.

Beth Barber Doty, Minneapolis

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GOP legislators are asking the governor to back off COVID-19 health mandates to businesses because hospitalizations and deaths have leveled off somewhat. That’s like a doctor asking a patient to back off exercise and good nutrition because the person is getting healthy.

Susan J. Dempsey, Eden Prairie

RIOTS AND UNREST

Other examples abound

Disrespect of law enforcement, vandalism of public buildings, destruction of private property, toppling of beautiful monuments — enough of this anarchy that I have been reading about.

Here are a few examples: A governor’s home was ransacked by rioters because they disagreed with his policies. Then, an incident in the Boston Commons area where mobs berated law enforcement, threw dangerous objects, and the officers, fearing for their lives, justifiably shot into the mob and some were killed. In still another incident, a mob disguised themselves and then destroyed more than $1 million of private property. Then, in Bowling Green Park in New York City, rioters pulled down and destroyed a large monument. All of this lawlessness just because the mobsters disagreed with the authorities.

To clarify, the first incident is vandalism to the home of Thomas Hutchinson, British lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, on Aug. 26, 1765. Next, the rioting and berating of law enforcement: Today we call that the Boston Massacre and we call the dead rioters martyrs (March 5, 1770). The third incident, with a modern-day equivalent of $1 million lost in private property, is today called the Boston Tea Party and those miscreants are heroes (Dec. 16, 1773). The monument was a statue of King George III on a horse, destroyed in the aftermath of a public reading of the Declaration of Independence, and those who tugged on the rope were patriots (July 9, 1776).

So, this little overview of events in American history illustrates that how we view what people have done and what we call what they have done has a lot to do with the lens through which we look at it.

David Hauschild, Blaine

ISRAEL/UAE PEACE DEAL

This process invites future deals

There is much to be learned by subsequent administrations from what the Trump administration has fostered in the Middle East (“Trump, Kushner produced a peace breakthrough,” Opinion Exchange, Sept. 3).

The most important lesson: Any initial Israeli proposal cannot in any way resemble a “best offer.” It is because the United Arab Emirates could make a show of “saving” Palestinian Arabs from annexation that it was able to make this deal with minimal political consequence.

The second important lesson: If an Arab nation wants peace with Israel, they will have it. The Egypt/Israel deal happened precisely because Anwar Sadat wanted it, and the current deal happened because the UAE wanted it. Americans can facilitate a deal in these situations, but without these overtures, it cannot happen.

It is my sincere hope that subsequent administrations take these lessons to heart, because while I do not want to see a continuation of the Trump administration, I would love to see a continuation of the rapprochement that was begun here.

Rich Furman, St. Paul

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Noah Feldman’s Opinion Exchange victory dance for the Jared Kushner/President Donald Trump “peace” initiative between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is a lengthy but skewed and incomplete analysis that tiptoes past Israel’s unforgivable dirty deeds (illegal settlements) against Palestinians. Long story short (on the never-ending Mideast conflict), since the internationally condemned Israeli settlements have for years been forced into contested Palestinian lands, Feldman’s optimistic piece is simply another false-front flourish for the facade-building Trump administration.

Steve Watson, Minneapolis

MAIL-IN VOTING

Please, folks, read the instructions

I am a recently retired Postal Service employee. In my time handling incoming mail, I have seen hundreds of mail-in ballot envelopes that would undoubtedly get rejected due to improper ballot mailing.

I would urge voters who are mailing in their ballots to read the multistep instructions that come with your ballot and follow them carefully and exactly, or your vote may not be counted.

In Minnesota, you are supposed to fill out your election ballot, then put your ballot into the ballot envelope and seal it. Then you put the ballot envelope into the signature envelope, filling in all the information on the signature envelope that is required. The signature envelope then goes into the return envelope, which has on it the address to the local election office.

The most common errors I have seen are ballots mailed only in the ballot envelope or the signature envelope, not using the return envelope. Also, many of those signature envelopes I happened to notice did not have the complete information filled in on them, and some had none at all. Quite a few ballots were mailed well after the election was over.

I would like to repeat that voters who are mailing in their ballots should read the instructions that come with the ballot and follow them carefully and exactly. And mail in your ballot as early as possible.

Or, to be absolutely certain that your vote is counted, instead of mail-in voting you can go to your registered polling place and vote in person.

Tom Heath, Edina

CENSUS

Get yourself counted, Minnesota

Please don’t let Minnesota shrink. Make sure you and everyone you know is counted in the census. If the census form you got is lost somewhere, just go to 2020census.gov. At that site you can get also phone numbers for help in over a dozen different languages.

All census information except the count numbers, by law, remains sealed for 72 years. Everyone needs to be counted. Undocumented people also count. If you know of anyone with limited English, please get them the phone number from the website for information in their native language.

One census year, my sister was in process of moving back to Minnesota and didn’t have an address for April 1. She was counted with our family. Don’t let any couch surfer go uncounted.

Let’s be Minnesota strong. Thank you.

Marty Meyer-Gad, Mankato, Minn.

SPORTS COVERAGE

Lynx deserved the front page here

Why aren’t the Lynx on the front page of the Sports section when they win? (“Dantas powers Lynx in pivotal win,” Sept. 2.) They are on the front page when they lose; why can’t they be when they win?

Maureen Woeltge, Minnetonka

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