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Monday's letters

Monday's letters

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True heroes

I once asked my cousin Arthur if the opening scene in "Saving Private Ryan," depicting the Allied invasion of Normandy, was a dramatization. “No, that’s exactly what it was like,” he replied.

Arthur Seltzer, a 20-year-old Army signalman, was one of 36 soldiers in his PT boat. He carried a 65-pound radio pack on his back and didn't know how to swim. As his fellow fighters exited their boat, they were immediately gunned down. Arthur and his commanding officer were the only survivors. He spent the next terrifying 12 hours shielded behind the bodies of dead comrades as Nazi gunners fired from the cliffs. From Omaha Beach, Arthur went on to liberate France and free survivors of a Nazi concentration camp in Germany.

I've been disgusted by President Trump’s disparagement of heroes like Arthur as "losers" and "suckers."

Sadly, I have come to expect such outrages, but I never thought that Sen. Thom Tillis, who regularly expresses his support for the military on social media, would remain silent in the face of such disgraceful insults by his party's leader. My several attempts to obtain a statement from Tillis were rebuffed.

Arthur and thousands like him fought bravely. Tillis’ failure to defend them is a stunning display of cowardice and disrespect.

Jeffrey Zalles


Timeline of lies

On Sept. 8 this reader questioned whether Trump was cognitively impaired; that opinion requires changing, as Trump readily admits he was deliberately negligent regarding COVID-19.

Eighteen hours of Trump's interviews with Bob Woodward lead to the conclusion that Trump knew all along the extreme danger of coronavirus, choosing to ignore it, so as not to create "panic." 

A sickening timeline of Trump's coronavirus acceptance/denials follows:

  • 2005-2016: Bush and Obama developed a "pandemic playbook," outlining required PPE, quarantining, etc., needed; it was discarded.
  • Dec. 19, 2019: China and WHO announce coronavirus.
  • Jan. 21: CDC announces first case in U.S.
  • Feb. 6: First known U.S. COVID-19 death reported.
  • Feb. 7: Trump tells Woodward, "You just breathe the air ... it's passed ... it's more deadly than even your strenuous flus." 
  • Feb. 28: Trump calls coronavirus the Democrats' "new hoax" at South Carolina rally, falsely stating, "So far we have lost nobody to coronavirus."
  • March 19: Trump expresses concern that evidence shows a widely impacted age range.
  • Aug. 5: Trump states children are "almost immune from this disease"; 240,000 children have already gotten it.

Downplaying COVID-19 has led to 195,000 deaths already. Mega-rallies without masking/social distancing are irresponsible.

Trump should finally take responsibility for this health and financial disaster; truth was needed six months ago to aid recovery.

Meredith Millard


The litter problem

I appreciate Wanda Sears' Sept. 8 letter about the litter problem in Greensboro. We in the county as a whole are also concerned about this selfish behavior of the litterers.

I suggest, however, that tax dollars not be used to clean this mess, but perhaps that we make an effort to identify and stop those responsible for the mess. The tax money should be used for more important issues such as education, police protection and immediate needs caused by the pandemic.

More awareness and concern of the problem should be identified by media, and stiffer penalties for identified litterers. There are some areas which seem to attract more litter than other areas; e.g., the Murrow Boulevard Post Office where loads of cigarette butts and lunch trash are disposed of on the street, sidewalks and grass. And there are trash containers within reach of the disposed material.

Dollars could be used for cameras at appropriate places to identify the litterers and they should be assigned to “litter clean-up teams.”

In general, too much of citizens’ tax money, which could be put to good use, is spent handling matters caused by lawbreakers — litterbugs, drunk drivers, speeders, burglars, etc.

Let’s be serious about these matters, which are affecting the lives and health of our residents.

N.J.R. Wells


Reimburse telehealth

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increased use of telehealth. Thanks to these virtual medical appointments, now routine office visits may be handled by computers or smartphones, saving patients two or more hours.

You might say the bygone era of house calls has returned using a virtual platform. To ensure the benefits of telehealth are maintained after the pandemic, the N.C. General Assembly and public and private insurers need to continue to reimburse telehealth visits at the same rates as in person patient visit. Without such payment parity, this convenient way to get medical care could become limited once again, and negatively impact patients who now see the benefits of this new treatment modality.

The North Carolina Medical Society has been urging legislators to expand broadband access to enable practices and patients in remote or underserved areas to connect via telehealth. Telehealth provides a viable means to improve access to care in these areas and should be supported by appropriate technology infrastructure.

Telehealth is the way of the future. Speaking or writing to your state legislator about its benefits will help drive legislation to make telehealth more robust and permanent.

Glen Combs


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