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Letters, Jan. 5

More news on vaccine needed

We are not getting enough news on how the vaccine rollout/distribution in our Jackson County. I feel it is equally important for the public to know the stats. I would like to see a daily report by county of how many doses are received, how many people have been inoculated by group as defined by the CDC.

Example: Today Jackson County has received 1,000 doses for a running total of 5,000; 2,000 people have been inoculated up to date (1,500 first responder and 500 in assisted living)

Ester Fredrickson

Medford

Protecting our democracy

Incompetence is never a good thing. Neither is malevolence. Sadly, Donald Trump’s presidency displayed an abundance of both. The good news: It’s almost over. Our republic survived, but barely. Had there been a sycophantic Republican House or biased judges, democracy may have been lost.

To protect against future abuses akin to the Trump era, I suggest legislators consider the following:

1. A reexamination of the First Amendment: Just as you cannot yell “Fire” in a crowded theater, it should be unlawful to spread disinformation on social media or elsewhere that the writer knows (or should know) to be untrue and dangerous.

2. Social media companies must take some responsibility for disinformation (careful review of the liability exceptions of section 230).

3. Elected members of government (including the president) should not be exempted from similar standards of truth-telling. And they should not be exempted from prosecution for crimes while in office. It is reasonably clear that Trump would have been prosecuted for obstruction of justice if it weren’t for the free pass given to sitting presidents.

4. Congressional subpoenas for legitimate oversight must be obeyed.

5. Employing presidential powers and taxpayer dollars to subvert a political opponent should be a crime.

Bruce Van Zee

Medford

Lack of communication

As a person who is in a vulnerable age and medical group, I am becoming more and more concerned about the lack of communication from our Jackson County public officials related to the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. When, where and how are we going to be able to access vaccinations?

The officials’ past public protestations about following federal and state mandates and recommendations related to this matter do not bode well for us as county citizens who want to remain protected during this pandemic. Their irresponsible attitudes and behavior have resulted in gym and other business owners believing that they can remain open, when according to state requirements they should be closed. Their approach to this pandemic has resulted in people not being adequately informed and educated as to good public health practices, such as wearing masks or not using inadequate plastic shields in place of face masks.

To regain any credibility, the public officials of Jackson County must start demonstrating some commitment to effectively addressing all these issues. When can we expect some leadership from these people who we must rely on to address this serious situation?

Harry Foster

Medford

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