20200407_new_grandisland_kf26 (copy)

The JBS Beef plant in Grand Island.

Shut down these counties

Gov. Ricketts, I urge you to shut down Hall, Adams and Dawson Counties for another three weeks. We are so close to winning, and keeping those meat processing plants open is going to undo all the progress we have made. Just because things have improved in the Omaha area, as I always say, let’s not get drunk with victory.

Don B. Rhoden, M.D., Plattsmouth, Neb.

Nebraskans aren’t rioters

Gov. Ricketts has stated that Nebraska meat processing plants must remain open to protect the nation’s food supply and our state’s ag economy. At a recent press conference, he added an additional reason: averting civil unrest due to food shortages.

What is the basis for this most recent concern? For the governor to intimate that temporary plant shutdowns will result in food shortages and civil unrest, when there is no record of either occurring during this worldwide pandemic, is palpably tactless and imprudent. His veiled reference to civil unrest is incredulous.

He had a front row seat observing Nebraskan’s reacting to adversity during the epic flooding of 2019. He should instinctively understand Nebraskan character and that we do not riot and loot to get our way.

As a lifelong Nebraskan, I found the governor’s comments condescending, insulting and deeply offensive.

Mike Gauthier, Grand Island

Children in the COVID-19 era

I would like to address parents who fear trauma at this time for their young children. It’s OK if children realize there is a danger. You should protect them but not make them live in a bubble. It’s OK to let them know we all have to be careful but give them some freedom and surround them with your love.

I grew up in the days of polio. We didn’t know how to protect ourselves, but swimming pools were closed as well as movie theaters. I remember the worry as a child hoping I wouldn’t get polio. Some of my classmates came down with it, but we got through that time and were not traumatized.

This time will pass, and your child will be OK and we can still find small joys in life. The most important role you have is that you give your child love and not instill fear.

Donna Smith, Omaha

former kindergarten teacher

Armchair epidemiologists

There are individuals who have spent their careers researching pandemics. Yet for some reason there are many individuals who have become armchair epidemiologists educating the rest of us from their social media pulpit. Please stop before you post anything relative to the coronavirus. You may be harming someone’s most precious loved one by spreading an unproven conspiracy theory.

Laurie Galeski, Omaha

That Clorox recommendation

On Friday, health warnings went out about President Trump’s statement on the use of disinfectants like Lysol and Clorox. Trump said these could possibly be injected or ingested to fight COVID-19.

The makers of Clorox said don’t use cleaning products as medicine. The F.D.A. and the Consumer Protection Safety Commission put out warnings. The Maryland emergency management agency reported over 100 inquiries about using disinfectants to fight the virus. This after research proved Trump’s other drug miracle, chloroquine, was proven to cause harm.

The new White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said, “Leave it to the media to irresponsibly take President Trump out of context and run with negative headlines.” If you can’t take what Trump say literally, why does he say them? Trump was not misquoted or taken out of context. Whenever he gets caught lying, he says he’s misquoted of taken out of context. He does this all the time.

There is talk of Trump cutting back on these so-called briefings. I hope not. These are great ads for the Democrats. His rantings and ravings show his true nature. He’s a complete narcissist.

Bob Clark, Audubon, Iowa

A wise leader’s strong actions

During an Air Force career and several years in the private sector, I observed many commanders and managers who may have had character or personal flaws, as most people do, but still were able to lead their units or companies to success regardless of the opinions of others.

During this current, unprecedented worldwide emergency it should be noted:

1. A wise leader stays on the job 24/7 during a crisis instead of cowering in mansions in California or New York while blocking critical legislation that will help Americans in need. Bearing the weight and fate of the country every hour.

2. A wise leader defies all odds to defeat pundits, critics, the “establishment,” government insiders, Democrat hit squads and a liberal media bent on usurping the 2016 election and undermining an administration whose successes they refuse to acknowledge.

3. A wise leader cleans up the domestic, economic and foreign policy fiascos from the previous hapless, weak-kneed, corrupt administration.

4. A wise leader calls out the World Health Organization for the Chinese puppet it is, and rightly cuts off funding to an entity that misled the world with its early apologetic characterization of the China/Wuhan virus’s origin, seriousness and ensuing effect.

5. A wise leader does not stand there like an insipid dupe taking the bait of arrogant, argumentative, disrespectful reporters who, after pontificating, ask leading “gotcha” questions to seek self-aggrandizing publicity rather than actual information, in addition to exposing them for the clowns they are.

6. A wise leader continues to do the necessary, thoughtfully calculated actions needed to win a virtual war unlike any shooting conflict, in spite of the incessant sniping of Democrats, liberals of every stripe, the media and the all-knowing, judgmental critics sitting on the sidelines critical of his every move.

7. A wise leader is decisive when enemies, opponents and critics are impotent.

Max R. Moore, Bellevue

Best use for these stimulus checks

Included in the list of recipients of the stimulus payment are millions who desperately need it, but there are millions of others, like ourselves, who were not as drastically affected by the recent economic conditions. So, what do we do with this windfall?

It’s tempting to save or invest it as partial compensation for the beating our retirement savings have fallen in value. But I encourage those who are able to do so to spend the money. Every cent. That’s what it’s for: to help our economy and to help those who really, really need it.

Or give it to your favorite local, national or international charities. Food banks, for example.

Can’t decide which charity? Then give it to The World-Herald’s Goodfellows charity and let that group decide who in our community needs it the most.

Gary Welch, Bellevue

Look where the money went

The last time President Trump claimed to help agriculture, $70 million ended up with the largest meat processor in the world, Brazilian-owned JBS. Wonder how much of the $16 billion this time will end up in a foreign-owned corporation?

Dan Hoffman, Omaha

The meaning of ‘pro-life’

I am white and privileged. I am a regular voter, and I think I promote policies and candidates that will advocate and support a society that is both compassionate and fiscally responsible.

It is difficult for me to resolve the hypocrisy of our elected officials who purport to be “pro-life.” Our policies are not “pro-life,” but only “anti-abortion.” Also, we are learning that they are not fiscally responsible, as this crisis and lack of preparation are going to cost a bundle. Two news stories exemplify society’s hypocrisy.

First, my heart breaks, for the woman who gave birth alone and then wrapped her baby in a blanket and sweater and left it on a porch after making sure someone was home (“Woman accused of leaving baby is charged with abuse,” World-Herald, April 10). Had the woman taken the baby to the hospital, the safe haven law would have protected her from prosecution. It is obvious to me that she did not know about the safe haven law, but what bravery she showed in trying to provide for the safety of this child to the best of her ability.

Second, the great and disproportionate mortality rates in our black communities due to COVID-19. Explained as systematic racism and poverty due to our policies, including President Trump’s policies over the last three years that have exacerbated disparity in health care. This is a problem that we have known about for a long time. All I can say to this community, I’m sorry I have not done enough.

Marcia Anderson, Omaha

Spirit of ’76 still alive

I think the spirit of 1776 is very much alive and well in 2020. The enemy then was the British. The enemy today is the COVID-19 virus. Our warriors today are farmers, sanitation workers, truck drivers, bus drivers, grocery store workers, health care providers, health care workers, emergency responders, police, firemen, scientists and yes, politicians, who will figure this out.

Collectively we can win. Individually we cannot. You have the freedom to follow the recommendations, or not. You have the freedom to go out and get infected. You have the freedom to go out and infect others. Or you can stay home and help the rest of us.

Birte Gerlings, Omaha

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