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Letters, July 27

Face masks

A recently published Gallup poll showed nearly 20% still don’t wear face masks, and more alarmingly that only 24% of Republicans do. The COVID-19 virus does not have a political party affiliation. That suggests to me that supporters of Trump, a man with an extremely low science IQ, and who has made nearly 20,000 false or misleading statements according to nonpartisan fact checkers, believe his lies about this lethal virus and face mask protection. The most recent R0 number for COVID, an index of infectivity, was approximately 3. This means every 100 people with the virus, symptomatic or not, will infect 300. Those 400 will go on to infect 1,200. Those 1,600 will infect 4,800, and so on.

Viruses can’t move by themselves, so have to hitchhike on some secretion. This virus likes mucus and saliva. Small droplets can aerosolize and stay suspended in the air for hours. Face masks markedly reduce the spread of those secretions, and along with social distancing are the only ways to blunt those numbers and stop the spread. COVID likes the nose better than the mouth and throat, so it is important to cover the nose also.

James W. Hoftiezer, M.D., FACP

Medford

Some economic facts

Let’s talk facts. Obama inherited a poor economy from Bush. Within two years it climbed consistently. Same thing when Clinton vastly improved on the Bush economy.

This pattern goes back through the Truman administration. Charts I looked at were “Dow Jones Change by President,” “Average annualized GDP Growth, by term,” and “U.S. jobs gained (average per year)”. And now Republican Trump inherited a growing economy that is falling apart before our eyes. He’s repeating the pattern of Republican decline, for whatever reason.

Why do people choose to blindly believe any or all of Trump’s statements when he lies so blatantly and consistently? The Fact Checker reports that as of now he has racked up 20,036 lies to some degree or other. We have all seen and heard him do it on a regular basis on the various news sources — including his loyal supporters — but they apparently choose Trump’s fantasies over fact.

Trump supporters should educate themselves to the facts before they belittle those of us who are appalled at the current administration’s rampant firings, name-calling, irrationality and untruths. I learned during debate meets in school that one should know the facts on both sides to make a valid argument.

Kathleen Heritage

Medford

Pillsbury Doughboy?

I’m sorry Dennis Hammond was bullied as a child. Bullying is wrong, causes real problems and should be stopped. But please don’t equate what he suffered with the current BLM efforts of today.

How many times was he denied lodging in a motel because of his weight? Was he required to eat in the kitchen while his skinny friends were seated in the restaurants? How many of his brothers were strung up at night because of his weight? Were his children stripped from him and sold? Was his girlfriend insulted with terms like “fat-boy lover”? Could he live where he wanted? Go to all-skinny schools? We’re laws passed to specifically deny him the rights the skinny people had?

His statement, “I was overweight” indicates he’s changed. Congratulations to him, but it’s not that easy for Black Americans.

The BLM movement today has opened the eyes of many. There are some bad apples in the group, as there are in any large group (police?). Please don’t trivialize their centuries-long suffering by comparing it to being “poked in the ribs”. The doughboy giggles, “Tee hee hee.”

Fat shaming is not funny. But it’s not the same, either.

Mike Curtis

Medford

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