Letters to the editor, November 4, 2020
Consistent leadership needed
Governor Noem on Oct 21 said her approach to covid exemplifies trust in data and citizens. She believes we’ve been rewarded. Our reward is record positive tests, half confirming covid Oct 30. State deaths are over 400 and climbing. South Dakotans disagree how to fight an epidemic tracking to kill more Americans in its first year than were killed in 3½ years of World War 2.
Noem picks data points to minimize covid. She says doctors with eccentric opinions have grievances, suffering pressure and shame to join the fight, as if prevention-denying doctors are the entitled victims, not their misled patients. Early on, Kristi updated us about her rapt studies with public health professionals, balancing humility, curiosity, and action. Now she links to a libertarian journal citing a chemist’s opinions against prevention, twisting pandemic fighting into attacks against freedom. Kristi’s false mantra “we can’t stop the virus, we can only slow it down” is belied by multiple countries who stopped it dead, multiple states who flipped from hot spots to virtual safe zones.
Lockdowns vs barefaced street parties is a false choice. Government, the medical community and businesses must offer consistent leadership on a wider path to post-epidemic life.
Peter Hasby, Rapid City
South Dakota is dying for leadership
“1,443 new cases, 10 more deaths reported Saturday. Of the 425 deaths due to COVID-19, 202 of them were reported in the past month.” From the Wall Street Journal, “The percentage of tests for Covid-19 coming back positive in South Dakota has soared to 46% …eight times the WHO’s recommended 5% threshold for businesses to open.” SD has more new virus cases per capita than any other state since the pandemic began. And yet what does our governor say? “We feel pretty good about where we’re at, the governor is not going to change any of her approach-why should she?” Really? We should change because her approach is not working. It doesn’t have to be this way. Why have we politicized a simple public health recommendation to wear masks? If leaders give us common sense rules to live by, like speed limits, seat belts or no smoking in public places, good citizens will abide by them for the common good. We recently traveled to Red Lodge, MT.
All establishments post mandates to wear a mask. And you know what? People willingly comply. Businesses remain open and people shop. Risk is reduced.
Don Looney, Spearfish
Socialism doesn't work
Sorry if you're offended, but Socialism leads to misery and destitution. Socialism is the leading man-made cause of death and misery in human existence. Whether implemented by a mob or a single strongman, collectivism is a poverty generator, an attack on human dignity and a destroyer of individual rights. Just look at Venezuela a once thriving oil rich country that was the richest in South America. In just 20 years under Socialism is on the poorest in the world. You will lose your freedom of speech and liberties. Taxes will sky rocket and we will lose millions of jobs. They want total government control over the economy and our lives. Collectivism is unsustainable in the long run because it is a flawed theory. Socialism does not work because it is not consistent with fundamental principles of human behavior. It is a system that ignores incentives. People that left Socialist countries are scared to death that America could turn to Socialism.
Rick Lewis, Spearfish