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Wednesday's letters

Wednesday's letters

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Shots save lives

The recent protests of workers against the COVID-19 mandate has highlighted the national debate about the conflict between the government’s interest in “promoting the general welfare” and “individual rights.”

As a practicing physician for the past 40-odd years, it never occurred to me to put my personal preferences above those of my patients, my community or my country. I complied with vaccine mandates, as did all of my colleagues, without a murmur of protest (until recently).

I must say that being screamed at with demands for unproven toxic drugs has given me a reality check on today’s “me first” priorities.

Vaccines save lives. This has been a reality in America since George Washington mandated them for the Continental Army. (News flash: smallpox has been eradicated so you don’t have to have a smallpox inoculation.)

Call it patriotism or common sense; public health is key to our survival as individuals, as a community and as a nation. If we place jobs and individual prerogatives above survival, we all lose. And that is reality.

Kurt Lauenstein



Many people who do not wish to take the COVID vaccine mandated by their employers are claiming “religious exemptions” because the vaccines are tested on human embryonic stem cells. These sudden “conversion experiences” seem a bit suspect.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are tested on the HEK-293 cell line, as are nearly all common over-the-counter medications, including: Tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin, Aleve, Sudafed, Benadryl, Claritin, Tums, Maalox, Pepto-Bismol and Preparation H.

Also frequently prescribed heart medications, including Amlodipine, Valsartan, Metoprolol and Lipitor (Atorvastatin) are tested on this line. Ironically, also tested on HEK-293 are therapeutics passionately advocated for by anti-vaxxers as COVID “cures,” including hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

I seriously doubt if any of the folks claiming their religious exemption have never taken one of the above medications.

John Long


Curing violence

Regarding “When saying nothing is no longer an option” (Allen Johnson column, Oct 10):

I agree, Mr. Johnson. The inner-city violence is way out of hand. It’s in every American city. Gangs are a big motivator of the violence. As Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry has said, the gang movement is a “ritual of destruction” in that youths do not desire to live life, but prefer to die young — some morbid sense to join a fellow fallen gang member in the afterlife.

Two thoughts on the subject: 1) Incarcerate more youth and 2) motivate youths to become police officers themselves. Enforce RICO laws on gangs to reclassify them as criminal enterprises. Then, when one commits a crime, all members are arrested. By the time they’re out of prison perhaps they’ll see the error of their ways.

As for having more neighborhood youths become police officers, this would establish a better relationship between the police and that community. This is happening a lot in all cities. The Black officer becomes a policeman because of experiencing the violent death of a relative or good friend within his neighborhood.

Having editorial page editors like Allen Johnson writing about the subject is also a start. Thanks.

Rich Rainey



My wife and I were excited to know that the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts was finally going to open and we could begin to enjoy the Broadway series we purchased. However, we had a conflict in our schedule and we were not able to attend “Wicked.” I attempted to call and email customer service and never received a callback or a response. I then went to the box office and stood in line for 30 minutes and moved up two spots. I finally left with several people still in front of me.

What a shame that such a beautiful venue has so little customer service. I applaud the Tanger family for the generosity and benevolence they have provided Greensboro. Would it be too much to ask for the city to provide the support to make the performing arts center a first-class operation?

Barry Weed


Our last chance?

Scientists have declared a code red emergency regarding climate change. The Build Back Better Act could lose most of its vitally important climate action because of one senator’s opposition.

The extinction crisis and plastic pollution crisis are accelerating beyond control. Plans in India to create massive coal mines on tribal lands put Indigenous rights and the climate in jeopardy. Indigenous activists are being jailed and murdered for speaking out in defense of their lands and rights. Companies and banks (such as JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock, Liberty Mutual and Procter & Gamble) are fueling deforestation and human rights abuses worldwide.

Climate change is causing extreme drought, storms, hunger and heat everywhere, and is seriously harming our health. No country is anywhere close to being on track to reach its climate goals and 2050 will be too late. Carbon capture sounds promising, but cutting emissions is more effective and fossil fuel subsidies absolutely have to end.

The U.N. Climate Change Conference is nearly upon us. This could be our very last chance to take any significant action against climate change. Please quickly tell President Biden and Congress all of these things and that their actions will decide the fate of future and current generations.

Samuel Dawson



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