Administration’s weak response to COVID19
After having consistently topped the COVID19 infection and deaths rates since the beginning of the pandemic, with the latest count having crossed the grim milestone of the global record of 200,000 deaths, the looming question remains: What makes the Trump administration’s tepid response to COVID19 the weakest in the world?
The simple reason is that Americans are not told by the Trump administration to own the responsibility of taming the virus by doing some basic sacrifices and not asking the same banal question again and again: What’s in for me?
Unless evidencebacked, basic medical safety protocols proven to arrest the virus spread, like wearing a face mask and social distancing, are enforced nationally, we may not see any gains until a full rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
And the biggest question remains about the timeline of the highly anticipated vaccine: When will this happen and, until then, what outcome do we await for this escalating infection and death rate?
Atul Karnik, Woodside, N.Y.
A dying democracy
I am getting worried about the state of our democracy, and I teach about it every day to high school students. The Republicans should state plainly that if they are in control of the Senate, no Democratic nominee for the Supreme Court will get a hearing. Then we will know for certain that our democratic experiment has failed.
The Senate is one of the least representative parts of our government. The state of Wyoming has fewer residents than our mediumsized city of San Francisco, yet Wyoming has the same number of senators as California. James Madison knew this was undemocratic, but it was another compromise, along with the Electoral College, to appease the slave states (and the small states).
These compromises came to create this country, but they also came at a terrible cost. Democracy is dying right in front of us.
Adam Michels, San Francisco
There are two answers to the question posed by Chronicle journalist Joe Garofoli’s article “Will flipflop on Supreme Court matter to voters?” (Sept. 23). Yes, if you’re a Democrat or Independent voter who is appalled by the
GOP’S ruthless tactics to control judicial appointments, suppress voter turnout and kowtow to its white evangelical base.
No, if you’re a Republican who thinks that ending the right to abortion while protecting the right to have guns are top priorities, and defends a president who has told over 20,000 lies while in office. I’d agree with Garofoli’s assessment that, no matter when the next Supreme Court justice is confirmed, all of the controversy surrounding the process will further diminish our nation’s respect for its highest court.
Dylan Seager, San Francisco
Regarding “Livid with Feinstein” (Letters, Sept. 23): Regrettably, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is merely being realistic about lacking the ability to force Republicans not to replace the esteemed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.
Nor does she have the power to make them bow to her pressure, as the letter writer suggests. Having apparently taken the “Hypocritic Oath,” Republicans hold the power to act now. Their current power, unfortunately, is a fact (not an alternative fact).
Even if it does not help the Supreme Court now, however, our votes for Democrats in both the Congressional and executive branches of government will at least be a step toward restoring decency and accountability in our government.
It is little comfort that just as former President Barack Obama undoubtedly thought the next president following him would be a Democrat to fill a Supreme Court seat,
Republicans now believe it is likely that the next president will be a Democrat.
Jacquelyn Gentry, Foster City
Sounds like blackmail
The Republicans do have a staunch majority in the Senate, so it is hard to see what purely political pressure Sen. Dianne Feinstein could exert. The suggested use of “leverage and information” sounds more like blackmail. Isn’t that sort of thing a favored tactic of a certain president?
Sherry Gulmon, Palo Alto
An entitled attitude
The demands of the Archbishop of San Francisco regarding the limitations of parishioners for indoor services, really raised some questions for me. Does he care about the health and safety of his flock, or has months of empty collections baskets triggered his reckless comments?
All over this country, we have seen what happens when you fill a church with worshipers: People get sick and die, many of them members of the clergy. The fiasco at the Saints Peter and Paul Church nuptials is a good example; the 10 attendees stricken could possibly have infected others.
The Archbishop needs to set aside his entitled attitude and follow the law. He was given a flock to care for, now he should do it!
Leanna Mattea, Rohnert Park
Don’t build in fire zone
Regarding “Crises, from disasters to housing, highlight need for shared solutions” (Front Page, Sept. 21): In his commentary, John King finds it convenient to blame the California Environmental Quality Act for an array of ills, including fire hazard.
Our group’s litigation against CalFires’ Vegetation Treatment Program (VTP) does not seek to curtail prescribed burns in conifer forests, but rather to prevent overtreatment in California shrublands, which have suffered an excess of fire.
Such overtreatment only leads to replacement with flammable weeds. Indeed, Calfire has itself admitted that its VTP is ineffective during the winddriven fires in Southern California that do all the damage.
Instead, we support more strategic vegetation treatments that do work. The start of a true common sense approach would be to stop expanding new housing into the fire zone.
Dan Silver, Los Angeles
Refuse an appointment
Regarding “Health care law hangs in the balance” (Front Page, Sept. 22): Any jurist nominated to the Supreme Court should refuse to accept the appointment because of the circumstances under which the nomination was made.
If the nomination is accepted, the Senate should reject the nomination because their testimony cannot be trusted, given the presumption that the nomination is based on partisan politics, not judicial integrity.
While it is the prerogative of the president to nominate federal judges, confirmation of any justice this close to the election will undermine the rule of law that every judge has taken an oath to protect.
Anthony Somkin, Berkeley
Reopening churches is irresponsible. If Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone truly cared about parishioners’ spiritual and physical health, he could gather more audiences outside. The Son of God did just that. Stop hiding behind personal preferences rather than safety for all.
Remember these parishioners mingle with others in society and we all need to be safe.
Brenda Leversee, Santa Rosa