Letters to the editor, Oct. 23, 2020
For Mike Rounds
I have been following Senator Rounds closely since meeting him at a campaign event for his 2014 Senate seat. I’m continually impressed with his moderate, common sense approach to tackling issues he faces in a polarized political climate.
I’m currently working in my family’s small business, here in Rapid City. To say we are living in unprecedented times due to Covid-19 is an understatement. Let’s be honest: the short and long term effects this virus is causing on both the health of our people and the health of our economy are mind-blowing.
We are fortunate to be supported by a person like Senator Rounds, who is helping citizens navigate federal programs made available with ease. This has allowed businesses to offer flexibility to their employees so people can focus their attention on areas of priority, whether it be schooling children, taking care of sick loved ones, or being able to continue working and earning an income.
Until the days of Covid-19 are behind us, I hope we will continue to elect people like Senator Rounds who will help get us through the immediate challenges we are facing so we can all flourish with our health and wellness in the future.
Erin Krueger, Rapid City
It isn't testing
Among the factors that might cause an increase in positive coronavirus test results, one is increased numbers of tests casting a wider net; a second is an increased infection rate among the population. Governor Noem has described the state’s recent surge as the “natural”, “expected” result of the first factor while discounting the second.
Is this valid? Consider that South Dakota reported 873 new COVID-19 hospitalizations between September 19th and October 18th. This is nearly triple the new hospitalizations occurring in the 30 days before.
Hospitalizations don’t spike simply because testing increased. If infections (and virulence) are not increasing, then about the same number of patients will require hospitalization each month, no matter how many tests are done. Testing only identifies infected people; it does not create them, any more than breathalyzers create drunk drivers. If more people require hospitalization, it’s likely that more people are infected.
Downplaying infections and blaming testing for rising case numbers confuses issues and endangers South Dakotans. That Governor Noem, obviously uninterested, left the state during a surge to campaign is a failure of leadership. It seems we are just stepping stones in someone’s White House ambitions, whether Trump’s in 2020 or hers in 2024.
Seth Thomas, Rapid City
What are you afraid of?
So Mr. Holbrook, in your Journal political editorial of 10/17 you seem so afraid-afraid of what? Democracy seems to be your GOP's biggest fear. Look at the track record of voter suppression in the past several years and the hypocrisy of your leaders in Congress. Graham's flip-flop of 'his words' and McConnell's threats to not fill two SCOTUS seats if Hillary were elected in 2016! They and your SD GOP seem so fearful of letting people (especially lower income or different color) vote their opinions. Look at the voting lines in Texas and Georgia-tell me you would stand in line for 8-plus hours to exercise your right as a US citizen! I doubt it. Moneyed interests in this USA have prevailed and gotten huge tax relief and benefits, but all this will change as right will prevail--and I don't mean your political "right". Your party is out of line and will be put in its place this fall.
Jake Kammerer, Rapid City
Masks and distancing are useless, says a Rapid City doctor advocating the “herd immunity” (touted by the Trumpery & his minions.) We should spread the Covid now so we can “move on to improve our psychological and economic health.” He adds (not saying if he has had Covid himself), "Because covid is not much worse than influenza.”
Trumpery says that the USA will be “Great Again” if everyone catches Covid. Apparently, ridding the USA of enough children, adults, elderly, and those who can’t afford housing, food, and health care, will do the job. Is that our local doctor’s answer too?
The intelligent and sensible know the truth from Dr. Fauci: "herd immunity” is “Total Nonsense.”
Marian V. Reed, Rapid City
A local doctor claims a study disproves mask effectiveness, and claims covid “not much worse than influenza.” Both claims are dangerously false, supporting denial of our power to protect life pending effective vaccines and treatments. The Oct 6 Annals of Internal Medicine review of mask studies I find, Chou et al, cites their “evidence on SARSCoV-2 (covid) is limited to 2 observational studies with serious limitations”. Chou cites vague conclusions, not evidence against masking. Also on Oct 6, Nature printed “Face masks: what the data say”, subtitled “the science supports that face covering are saving lives… yet the debate trundles on. How much evidence is enough?” A preprint pending peer review on Yale/British Medical Journal’s server, Leffler et al, says “In countries with cultural norms or government policies supporting public mask-wearing, per-capita coronavirus mortality increased on average by just 15.8% each week, as compared with 62.1%” where they didn’t. Deaths from an illness that has proven 5 to 10 times more lethal than flu was cut four times smaller where people protected themselves, their families and fellow citizens. Doctors working for cigarette companies “taught the controversy” about lung cancer. Doctors promoting skepticism towards covid prevention walk the same path.
Peter Hasby, MD, Rapid City
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-Journal Editorial Board
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