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Follow guidelines, be a hero

We’ve heard a lot about the heroes in the battle against COVID-19, like doctors, nurses, grocery workers and many others. I’d like to thank the lesser-known heroes that have contributed time and money to the fight by making masks, serving meals to less fortunate families, making signs of support and humor and generally showing that people have the ability to weather this storm with dignity and patience.

The heroes don’t stop there, though. In my book, everyone who follows the practices of social distancing and wearing masks is a hero in their own right because they’re willing to make sacrifices for the safety of others.

Unfortunately, there are people who will not be heroes. The folks who ignore the virus safety measures puzzle me. Are they such rugged individualists that they won’t let the government tell them what to do? Are they in such excellent physical condition that the virus can’t affect them? Have they been tested and found to not have the virus? If they’re trying to project an image of strength and infallibility, it’s not working.

Be a hero and follow the guidelines.

Don Wells Jr., Omaha

Concerns over reopening

I am writing to express concerns about the opening up of Nebraska in violation of the federal standards, which state that phase one opening should begin only when the state has decreased cases for 14 consecutive days. Instead Nebraska has seen an increase in cases.

I am concerned because we still do not have testing and contact monitoring to go along with opening our state. Instead, Gov. Ricketts tries to reassure Nebraskans by saying Nebraska has an adequate number of ventilators, ICU beds and staff. This is good news, but it only applies to people who are so ill they require extended medical care. The question still remains: What about people who have the virus but are not ill enough to be hospitalized? These people are still in the community infecting others because we don’t know who has the virus due to lack of testing and isolating. I am also concerned about the governor’s statement that meatpacking plants don’t have to say how many workers have tested positive, that this information is private. This information is a public health matter for the safety of the community.

Sandra Baxter, Omaha

Protect these lives

Kudos to the Omaha World-Herald for its outstanding editorial that packing house workers deserve respect and that government must ensure their safety. Their lives are more important than the product of their labor.

Opposite The World-Herald’s moral position, in the same edition the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, is quoted on Fox News that “there are more important things than living.” So, is it all right if some people are sacrificed for the sake of the economy? I wonder what Bible Mr. Patrick reads?

Steven J. Riekes, Omaha

The ‘Trump lies’ accusation

Many Public Pulse writers had debated the subject of presidential lying. Jannette Davis on April 18 said that President Trump’s misstatements and dishonest assertions were 16,241 and that the number can be easily checked online. So I did.

I went to washingtonpost.com. It said President Trump made 18,000 false or misleading claims — a nonpartisan source? I also went to Wikipedia’s “Veracity of statements by Donald Trump.” The sources for the Wikipedia article are PolitiFact, factcheck.org, the Toronto Star, CNN Star Tribune, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, the New Yorker and Glen Kessler’s “Fact Checker” column of the Washington Post. You be the judge if these are nonpartisan.

The alleged lies or false statements cover a period of time from 1976 to 2020. The article claims that same false statement were repeated 100 times and each repeated statement helped arrive at the exaggerated number of 18,000. There is much confusion about the total number of lies or false statements. I was unable to find any documentation as far as an actual listing of the alleged lies and the dates they were made, such as lie No. 1 and the date and so on. If this document or book exists, I would love to have a copy. It would be a best-seller.

Do any of the Trump haters recall that President Clinton was impeached because he lied to Congress or that President Obama made the famous false statement that you can keep your doctor? It seems nobody was counting presidential lies then.

Gerald Fitzpatrick, Omaha

The China threat

Over the past 30 years a large portion of our manufacturing base has been transferred to China by corporate executives. This has always struck me as somewhere between foolhardy, unpatriotic and treasonous. Done under the pretense of “globalism” and “serving local markets,” it was really nothing more that the pursuit of low, almost slave, wages at the expense of American workers’ jobs. The savings, which often were only realized after some creative accounting, artificially boosted the corporation’s earnings, stock prices and bonuses paid to corporate executives.

Now we are paying for these “savings.” Due to the large amount of travel back and forth to China to support these endeavors, the spread of COVID-19 has been amplified many-fold over what it would have been had China remained the isolated backwater place it once was. Products arriving from China likely harbored the virus, too. Any savings to the American consumer has been more than wiped out by the trillions of dollars in damage to our economy.

If we eventually find that the spread of COVID-19 was due to either negligence or deliberate attack by the Chinese government, we now have no options. With so much of our manufacturing technology now in China, and so much of our industrial, military and medical technology stolen by them, we have very little leverage to press for reparations.

Duane Bier, Omaha

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