Letters to the editor, March 28, 2020

Letters to the editor, March 28, 2020


Government Transparency

To the editor,

At the Wednesday news conference Mayor Steve Allender makes a very valid argument about the seriousness of the COVID-19 virus. I would make the case that if the government (state and local) were more transparent about the known positive tests the people would realize how serious this truly is.

Since the March 19 Journal article about the positive test connected to Security First Bank we have heard nothing. Kudos to Monument Health for quickly coming out with facts as they deal with a health care worker that tested positive.

Because the state withheld information about an escapee from the SD Women’s prison several people in Rapid City law enforcement were unnecessarily exposed to the novel corona virus.

If you want people to take this issue more seriously, then my sincere request is that “we the people” be given more information on the circumstances surrounding these positive tests instead of just telling us multiple times a day to wash our hands.

Bruce H. Venner, Rapid City

It is time to expand Medicaid

To the editor,

Facing COVID-19, the legislature should take advantage of upcoming veto consideration day, not likely a busy agenda, make an urgent change in plans, and reverse its shameful mistake in refusing to expand Medicaid.

Tens of thousands of working families fall in the gap between employer coverage, and Medicaid as intended under ACA. The authors of ACA couldn’t imagine state legislators cruel enough to their working poor, spiteful enough toward political opponents, to willingly lose hundreds of millions of their own state's tax dollars to expansion states. Proudly Christian South Dakota says, hold my Bud Lite, watch this.

Cash loss to other states due to refusal averages $210 million per year for the next decade. That coverage could treat illness and injury, limit the spread of novel corona among newly covered patients, and strengthen our imperiled health care system, to lessen the chance you will face a doctor’s grim news that there are no more ventilators free to carry your spouse or parent through COVID-19 respiratory failure.

Refusal of expansion buys nothing except insurance for legislators against primary election challenges from the right. Refusal is a bad deal. Expand Medicaid emergently, bring the money home, care for the people.

Peter Hasby, Rapid City

Where did it come from

To the editor,

Just a simple question if the Corona virus came from people traveling, didn’t they come from a community exposure wherever they traveled to. Why do we keep hearing there is no community spread?

Julie Draper, Rapid City

Thank Our Healthcare Workers, Then End Surprise Medical Billing

To the editor,

Our screens are filled with news about the coronavirus outbreak. Doctors, nurses and support staff are on the frontlines, doing what they have trained to do, putting themselves at risk. They recognize their own health hazard but they also believe in the commitment they made to help others. We should all take the time to thank the healthcare providers we know – thank them for their work and their sacrifice. As a nurse myself, it’s hard to describe how encouraging it is to receive simple words or gratitude – especially right now.

Sens. John Thune, Mike Rounds & Rep. Dusty Johnson, could also do something important for health care workers and patients. It’s clear that we need every single health care professional and facility functioning at full capacity right now. Therefore we must solve the problem of surprise medical billing to protect patients but also help keep our clinic doors open across the country. Congress should pass a commonsense bill with independent dispute resolution provisions to strengthen our health care system and give a win to the American people at a time when we could all use it.

Liana Wolfe RN, Rapid City

Surviving the Coronavirus

To the Editor,

School closings, sports event cancellations, food hoarding... We live in a new Coronavirus-induced world. Yet some personal health facts remain unchanged.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer good advice for preventing community spread and personal infection: apply social distancing, sanitize surfaces, wash your hands, don't touch your face.

But, there's more...

Does anyone wonder why uncounted numbers of infected people develop no symptoms and

only 20 percent of symptomatic people require hospitalization? It's because they have an effective immune system able to fight off the virus. But the CDC does not talk about that, perhaps for fear of offending powerful animal food industries.

Fortunately, good advice on boosting our immune system is readily available on the internet from trusted sources like WebMD and Healthline. And the advice is always the same:

  • Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits and leafy
  • greens
  • Refrain from dairy, other fatty animal products, and sugar-laden foods
  • Maintain daily exercise of 30-60 minutes
  • Minimize your stress level and get adequate sleep

Did I mention that this advice works great for all other nasty bugs as well?


Randall Colt, Rapid City

Getting to the other side

To the editor,

People aren’t good at translating numerical descriptions of risk into informed action. “Either a truck T-bones me at any green traffic light, or it doesn’t, it’s 50:50” is not correct. If it were 50:50 at every intersection, no-one would get home alive.

Most now understand “flu killed 40,000 Americans already this year, it’s worse than corona” is not correct, given that about 40 million Americans got the flu. If we allow 40 million to get COVID-19, we can expect 200,000 to a million Americans to die of it, the higher end if we allow a fast sharp spike in cases to overwhelm the medical system. Economic impact is of course another real risk.

“The economy” isn’t just the Dow. We depend on each other doing our jobs to live. Novel corona is going to circulate until a critical number of us either get a vaccination or two, or get the virus and survive with immunity, a year or two from now.

This isn’t going to be over next week, but we’ll figure out how to live with the risk, doing our jobs to get us together to the other side of the pandemic.

Peter Hasby, Rapid City

What if Obama had done it?

To the editor,

After watching Trump as President for the last three years, it’s time to ask, “What if Obama had done it?”

You can substitute Hillary Clinton for Obama if you wish. What if Obama had asked a foreign country to help him against his political opponent? What if Obama had placed tariffs on countries who import our farm products, resulting in the collapse of commodity prices? What if Obama had said that he bore no responsibility in the slow response to a contagious and deadly virus? Do you think Republicans would let Obama off the hook like they do Trump?

The Tea Party started because of opposition to Obama's economic stimulus package. Trump is now proposing to bail out large corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars, when we have a national debt of over 23 trillion dollars.

Where is the Tea Party now? It appears Tea Partiers and Republicans don’t care about the deficit unless we have a Democratic President.

Lynn DesLauriers, Rapid City

We don't believe you anymore

To the editor,

Tuesday's March 17th editorial; Trump, the conservatives, and any one else that disagrees with the media is savaged. This time it is the corona virus. Bush the editor says:, "TRUST ME". Are you joking?

For over 11 years the media has slandered, vilified, given us fake news, downright lies, slanted agenda driven so called News, Ultra biased stories based solely on the media's liberal beliefs.

And,attacked mercilessly Trump and his followers.

Trust You? I am flabbergasted you don't know. We are done with The media. You have become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the National Enquirer. We no longer believe you. The trust we did have is long gone. What's nice, we can just shut you off, stop buying your papers, or reading you online.

You are no longer unbiased reporters. You're telling us not to give false information. What exactly has the media done for years? Bush implies Trump didn't act quickly, and Trump poo-pooed the virus? Why? Because Trump does not believe you either.

Those of us looking for the truth know we will not get it from the media, liberal Republicans, or hysterical Democrats.

Trump is doing a fantastic job, despite the daily onslaught.

Senator Bill Napoli (Retired)

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