Your Views for May 31

Trump vs. science

The grim milestone of 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19 has been eclipsed in this country.

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While countries such as Iceland, Greece, New Zealand and numerous others have “flattened the curve,” the United States is mired in a titanic battle with this invisible adversary.

To be fair, other countries are struggling to contain COVID-19. The top four countries in total cases and deaths due to COVID-19, in no particular order, are the U.S., Brazil, Russia and the U.K. Ironically, three of the four countries are controlled by leaders with dictatorial tendencies.

There exists a simple answer why the U.S. struggles greatly with COVID-19, and the answer is a medical one: a severe allergy of President Trump to the allergen termed “science.”

Not only is Trump science-averse, he actually interferes with science to mitigate COVID-19 in this country. Instead of science-based , data-driven strategies to counteract COVID-19, we get rage, self-pity and denial by Trump.

Presidential historian Jon Meacham stated recently that Trump’s temperament is “a national security issue.” Furthermore, Meacham added, “He makes Richard Nixon seem like Mr. Rogers.”

The COVID-19 debacle we face in this country is a classic example of what transpires when a lack of preparation encounters a challenge. Unless all leaders at the national, state and county level embrace science, science and more science to battle COVID-19, deaths will increase, total cases will increase, and our progress will proceed at a pace akin to continental drift. Facts matter, and no attempt to stifle the facts will deter the virus one iota.

Despite the obvious failure of the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19, a full 39% of the national populace approve of the current occupant’s response to the pandemic. If this is viewed as a success by 39% of the voting public, just what would a Trump disaster look like?

I think I need a Happy Meal.

Kerry E. Meyer

Hilo

Failure to reform

I’d like to write a two-pronged letter to the Herald Tribune concerning the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. First, I’d like to thank Gov. David Ige, Mayor Harry Kim and the state Legislature for their tactical handling of the situation. It’s been a response that states with lesser leadership can only envy. So, thank you.

Beyond that, however, when it comes to the strategic vision that’s such an important aspect of leadership, I see nothing but failure, and this forces me to ask again, as I’ve asked before in this very publication, and as so many residents of Hawaii have asked before: Why are we still almost completely unresponsive to the need for economic diversity and sustainability?

Hawaii should be the envy of the world in these areas, for reasons so obvious they needn’t be repeated here. So, why, when the vast majority of residents have long been clamoring for urgently needed economic and environmental reforms, have we never made the transformation to a sustainable economy?

Well, we all know the reason. Hawaii hasn’t made those changes due to corruption. It’s that simple. Had our leaders not been corrupted by private economic powers determined to prevent those changes, the foreseeable wave of deaths from prematurely opening our economy wouldn’t loom on the horizon.

In short, the corruption of our leadership now literally threatens to kill us, and yet even now there almost certainly won’t be any serious attempt to reform our backward and self-destructive practices.

In short, our leaders would rather see us die than threaten the revenue stream of people who are already fantastically rich.

That’s a revelation.

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Harley Brent Hightower

Hilo

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