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Letters, Dec. 18

Who decides?

Kathleen Parker in a recent column asks, “who decides” who gets the coronavirus vaccine. Kathleen, it’s the person who is offered the vaccine who decides.

It is the responsibility of the person who is offered any medical intervention to exercise the medical ethical principle of informed consent, to accept or decline based on their judgment of their risk, the quality and quantity of the evidence of safety and efficacy.

And no, it is not a civic duty. Stating “we are inoculating ourselves for each other” implies the vaccine stops transmission, yet the trials used to test the vaccine did not examine its effects on transmission, only whether it reduced symptoms.

And no, mRNA vaccines are not “a little bit of the virus.” The messenger (mRNA) is synthetic, not extracted from the actual virus; delivered in a tiny sphere of inert fatty material called a lipid nanoparticle.

And no, celebrity endorsements of this vaccine are no substitute for reading the evidence for yourself.

My plea to you and others in the media is to refrain from shaming, guilting, bullying or any form of coercion to compel a person to be vaccinated against their better judgment.

Michael Framson

Medford

Army-Navy irony

Such an irony at the Army-Navy football game coin toss this year.

The commander in chief, who at last count has delivered more than 20,000 lies, pompously stands amidst the football captains, Corps, Midshipmen and academy leaderships.

Yet the more than 8,000 cadets and midshipmen are proudly held to their iconic, kindred honor codes:

n West Point: “A Cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.”

n Annapolis: “Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right. They tell the truth and ensure that the truth is known. They do not lie.

A single lie can get them disgracefully expelled from their respective institutions.

Another poignant message occurs at the end of the fierce and passionate game, regardless of the outcome. There is a time-honored, respectful solidarity among the competitors. After the final whistle, both teams stand before the opposition’s audience and respectfully acknowledge them by singing the other team’s alma mater. Powerful lessons which should be integral to all our leadership these days.

Brian W. Gross

Medford

Mendte’s selective memory

Larry Mendte suffers either from senility or selective memory. He seemingly is Donald Trump’s proverbial Rip Van Winkle.

First, the claim the Mueller investigation “stained the Trump presidency”: Mendte forgot numerous bipartisan investigations finding Russia interfered in the 2016 election. And what did Trump do? He intentionally impedes Mueller’s investigation and pardons criminals who could shed light on the truth?

A more honest, forthcoming Trump could easily have avoided the “stain” and the distraction. The Mueller investigation combined with Trump’s impeachment left an indelible stain on American democracy.

Second, Mendte purports Democrats wrote the “(revenge) playbook in 2016” and “the Republicans are just following it.” The Hunter Biden and Eric Swalwell investigations are just “Republican revenge for the Russia claims against Trump.” He has forgotten when vengeful Republican’s found “sufficient dirt” to impeach President Clinton. He overlooked the two-year Republican-led Benghazi investigation against Hillary Clinton that led to a substantial nothing.

The Republican “revenge playbook” has been refined over the last 30 years and is alive and in use again. When will Republicans realize their duty to this country and start working on real problems instead of pursuing and maintaining power?

David Boenitz

Ashland

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