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Regarding "GOP leaders: Lawmakers need early vaccine" (Dec. 5):

Ninety-nine percent of scientists advise to wear a mask …

Republicans: Phooey.

Mayo Clinic asked campaigns to wear masks …

Republicans: Phooey.

Infection specialists advise no large gatherings …

Republicans: Phooey.

Pfizer and Moderna have a vaccine …

Republicans: Me first.

Barbara Gjerde, New London, Minn.
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A leader who puts himself before others is not a leader at all.

Peggy Rolloff, Cottage Grove
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It is heartening to see that Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt are, at long last, firm believers in medical science.

Thomas A. Beaumont, Minneapolis
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From what I hear, Gazelka is a man of faith — a man who believes in God. But, I think he has lost his way. Maybe he needs to start asking himself, "What would Jesus do?" He should buy one of those rubber WWJD bracelets that were popular in the '90s and wear it to remind himself. Would Jesus make a derogatory remark about someone's name — especially if their business were recently looted? Would Jesus complain and be a mask denier during a pandemic if it meant saving lives? Would he ask for a vaccine first if others needed it more? I doubt it.

Sen. Gazelka, please start asking, "What would Jesus do?" first and save us all some grief.

Colleen Graf, Brooklyn Park
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My son was in the Marine Corps for four years. This meant I developed a deep curiosity about the Marine Corps. Think what you will about the military, the Marine Corps has earned a significant reputation for competence in accomplishing its assigned goals, particularly the way it develops a tight-knit team from vastly different individuals.

In the Marine Corps, officers eat last.

Just sayin'.

Do I think that nurse's aides, cooks, and janitors in health care facilities deserve the vaccine before me or any other elected official?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Brent Olson, Ortonville, Minn.

The writer represents the Third District on the Big Stone County Board.

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To our Republican leaders who think they should get vaccine prioritization because legislating is a relationship business: Teaching is a relationship business. I expect that our legislators, as adults, should have the maturity to effectively conduct their relationships over Zoom during this pandemic. I do not have the same expectation of our K-12 students. Teachers should get vaccinated before legislators so that our children can get back to in-person learning as soon as possible.

Colleen Vitek, Northfield
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Remember all the grocery store cashiers and the shelf stockers who were considered essential in March? Guess what. They're still essential! They should be at the front of the line for the vaccination.

Bruce Pomerantz, Fridley
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I'll do Gazelka one better regarding his suggestion to put politicians at the front of the inoculation line. Vaccinate all registered Republicans first. That promises to put a mighty dent in transmission rates. The rest of us will continue doing that which we have been from the very beginning of the pandemic. We'll keep caring for each other as best we can until enough vaccine becomes available for all.

I've never identified solely with either political party over my 45 years of voting, but that may change. A candidate's record and credentials have always been the deciding factor in garnering my support. I've voted Republican many, many times in the past for both state and national offices. I'm very disappointed that option seems to be a thing of the past for me.

Blaise Kraljic, Elk River
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About COVID-19 vaccines:

1) There will be enough vaccine for everyone.

2) Vaccine doses will arrive in batches, not all at once.

3) We have premier agencies for managing public health crises in this state and country (MDH, CDC, NIH) who are creating a scientifically and ethically sound plan for vaccine distribution. Please, neighbors and political representatives, let us get out of the way and let them lead.

Kathleen McDonough, Richfield

The writer is a nurse practitioner in a public health clinic.

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Two stories in Saturday's Star Tribune highlight the need to break free from the 24/7 attack mode many legislators have been conditioned to by the events of the last four years.

In response to an inexplicable idea of Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, to skip legislators to the front of the vaccination line, state Rep. Mike Howard, DFL-Richfield, inquires: "Have you no sense of decency?" Yes, Sen. Gazelka does; he also has offered up a stunningly bad proposal, so take the political gift and shoot down the idea, don't attack your opponent's character. This isn't the McCarthy hearings and you're not Joseph Welch.

We are then treated ("A taste, then forced to close") to state Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, reflecting on his questionable decision to open a speakeasy in the basement of an old building: "We didn't mean to open in a pandemic, but that's how it worked out." He expresses shock that Gov. Tim Walz might need to temporarily close bars amid the unprecedented health care crisis now facing our community. Abeler's convenient solution — open the bars, hope for the best.

Abeler asserts that Walz cannot be trusted to make the right decision. Gov. Walz has made a lot of health-care-related decisions since March, and the public sentiment seems to be that most decisions were good, some bad; learn and work across the aisle recognizing the enemy is the virus, not your political opponent.

We need immediate and significant financial relief for our citizens and small businesses so catastrophically impacted by the pandemic. Stop demonizing, start legislating.

John Malone, Long Lake

A mixed message on alcohol

What on Earth? How can this be? A few months ago, to make up for the pandemic's financial shortfall in her athletic department, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel called for selling alcohol at university sports contests. Now, she is calling for the U to raise money by advertising alcohol, however feasible, all across campus ("U regents take up push for alcohol sponsorship deals," Dec. 5).

How is it that President Gabel doesn't realize the folly of these proposals? Doesn't she comprehend that these money-raising expediencies will give many of her students alcohol-related problems, now and years down the road? How shortsighted and low-minded! President Gabel, there are dozens of other ways to raise money.

Don Gerlach, Burnsville