Letters, Aug. 23
Politics above kids’safety
I appreciate that Rep. Kim Wallan recognizes the dire situation confronting our overrun hospital system due to the COVID surge. Given the extremely high infection rate, her lack of support for a mask mandate in our schools is outlandish.
I understand her fear of losing some of her political supporters, but masking up protects our kids and keeps schools open. Wallan has rationalized her lack of support for a mask mandate, stating “Governor Kate Brown did not cite any studies showing that masks in schools are effective in preventing the spread of COVID, nor did she cite what metrics triggered the mandate and therefore what metrics would need to be achieved in order to remove the mandate.”
This is a flimsy excuse on Wallan’s part. I’m convinced that Brown would be more than happy to provide her with the data Wallan bemoans as uncited.
Various health organizations, including the CDC and the American Association of Pediatrics, have strongly urged K-12 schools to require masking indoors to prevent the spread of COVID. Political leanings of our representatives shouldn’t override public health recommendations based on solid scientific data and analysis.
Health care over warfare
On the health front, the pandemic is overrunning our local hospitals and those across the nation, overwhelming our health care workers who try to deal with thousands of new COVID cases. The vast majority of these are unvaccinated (94% here).
Gov. Kate Brown calls for the National Guard to assist in this historic crisis that demands financial and other resources for additional staff and other necessities. But on the war front, things are just fine, and the U.S. military is flush with funds.
The War Resisters League estimates the total military costs of the War on Terror (2001-2021) at $28.3 trillion. This figure includes interest on the debt related to past wars, Veterans Affairs, and Homeland Security. Many trillions of this total have poured down the endless sinkhole of the Afghan and Iraq Wars.
The overall figure comes to $85,800 per person based on the current U.S. population of 330 million in 2020. Jackson County’s share (population 221,000) is $18.8 billion.
If Washington would stop its “forever wars,” we would have more than enough resources needed for health care personnel — with a health clinic on every corner and plenty of hospitals. Let’s choose health care over warfare.