Gov. Holcomb, I have been both confused and disturbed by your reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic in Indiana. I am a retired physician, board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, so I can speak from a position of knowledge. (By the way, I am also a traditional Republican who voted for you.) I have been following the evolving data on the pandemic since it began.
I don’t know who is advising you on your decisions, and I don’t know your motives, but they can’t be justified based on the science. Are these decisions politically based on fears of a negative response at election time? A mask mandate should have been imposed on a state level weeks, if not months ago. You then compounded the problem by stating that there will be no penalty for violating the mask mandate. Are you also going to declare that cell phone use in the car is illegal and seat belts must be worn, but there is no penalty for violations?
Your rationale seems to be that Hoosiers will respond to education and do the right thing. We have been informing and educating since mid-March and the response has been major non-compliance and even protests. Freedom in our society requires an equal attention to personal decisions and individual responsibility. The ‘no mask’ folks want one without the other. No one in our society has the right to endanger others because of their own personal biases or preferences. COVID-19 cases in the state are exploding, and people are dying. Citizens are calling on you for true and strong leadership, not token gestures. Will you continue to ignore the call?
Dr. Robert A. Browne
Televise Indianapolis 500 without fans
Why submit fans to the virus? Just televise the race with no fans. The world won’t end if people can’t go to the track. There are more pressing issues then the Indianapolis 500. What a shame people don’t get that there is a crisis going on.
Members of Congress exhibit ‘disgusting’ behavior during Barr hearing
I watched the U.S. Attorney General William Barr inquisition conducted by Rep. Jerry Nadler and his colleagues. Barr was never allowed to answer questions without “reclaiming time” being yelled in his face. It was the most disgusting action of representatives of Congress I have seen since the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.
‘Allowing Hoosiers to vote by mail is the only decent thing to do’
Last week, I opened IndyStar to read that Gov. Eric Holcomb has ordered mandatory masking. This action said that the spread of the COVID-19 virus is worsening. A day later, I opened IndyStar to read that allowing Hoosiers to vote by mail in November is likely not going to happen.
These two actions do not coincide. Either the virus is dangerous, and we need to take every precaution to prevent it spreading or we don’t. If we do, then allowing Hoosiers to vote by mail is the only decent thing to do.
Few people are willing to risk their lives to work the polls, which means long lines and hours of waiting to vote, which helps spread the virus and it eliminates the ability of a thousands to be able to vote.
I recently read where a member of our state legislature said, “If they can go to the Walmart, they can go vote.” Yes, we must go to Walmart, or Meijer, occasionally to get food, medicine and other necessities. So, we are going to be punished because we need these things to survive? Someone needs to start thinking straight or they are going to be wondering what happened to their party.
Joyce Ann Moore
Help your fellow Hoosiers by wearing a mask
Suppose you and I are walking down the street in opposite directions. We’ve never met. All of a sudden you grab your chest, your eyes roll back into your head, and you fall to the ground. I rush up to you and you say, “my heart, my heart, help me.” At this point I have two choices: One, I can pat you on the shoulder, wish you luck and keep on walking, or, two, I can call 911 and perform CPR until an ambulance arrives. Which would you prefer I do? If it’s the second option, please wear a mask. Thank you.
Professional sports will suffer a ‘crippling blow’ if athletes kneel during anthem
As a Hoosier, transplanted in North Carolina, I am still a rabid Colts fan. However, I’m disturbed by the trend in professional sports of athletes kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of racial injustice. This is a worthy fight, which has been ongoing for hundreds of years. However, disparaging our flag and the millions who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice so that we enjoy our freedoms, is offensive to millions.
Ask any former POW who was tortured by the Japanese, Vietnamese, Germans or North Koreans what that flag represents to them and you’ll get a far different answer. Historically illiterate who people want to paint the U.S. as the enemy do not understand that America has been the greatest force for good on the planet over the past 150 years. The country is not perfect, but has inspired the “will of the people” throughout the world and has been a safe haven and refuge for hundreds of those avoiding persecution.
If I see large numbers athletes kneeling during the NFL season, I am done with the NFL and any sports league that caves to the cancel culture. So will millions of like-minded Americans and the NFL, MLB and NBA will suffer a crippling blow from which they’ll never recover.
Joseph S. Smith
Political leaders spend recklessly as national debt continues to soar
As both political parties are fighting for power in this hyper presidential election year both Democrats and Republicans are racing to spend crazy money. After spending a record amount of $3 trillion in the first COVID-19 stimulus package earlier this year, both parties want to spent more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats want to spend up to $3 trillion; Trump and the Republicans want to spend about $1 trillion.
Our — yours and mine — national debt is at a record $24 trillion dollars. This debt is bigger than our gross domestic product per year. The estimated interest payment alone on this debt for 2020 is $500 billion. If the debt were divided among every American citizen each of us would owe more than $70,000.
While our political leaders continue to recklessly spend more and more money we don’t have we are on the brink of financial ruin. The national debt is unsustainable. Soon the interest payment alone will overwhelm our solvency. We have mortgaged our kids and grandchildren’s future to support our unsustainable lifestyle. The truth is the United States is bankrupt. We simply continue to bury our heads in the sand and act like it isn’t true.
Holcomb seems to shun once-celebrated independent thinking
I can’t understand how our governor can hope to convince Hoosiers that they have to get serious about preventing the spread of coronavirus and adhere to guidelines that prevent gatherings of 50 or more without his expanding the current voting by mail limitations that will force literally hundreds to wait in line at the polls. The Republican lockstep adherence to President Trump’s dictates is mind boggling, but I previously really celebrated that our governor seemed to be more of an independent thinker.
Expanded Medicare would protect the unemployed during COVID-19 pandemic
A pandemic is a terrible time to lose one’s health insurance. Our current system tied to employment should illustrate to the millions now unemployed and to all Americans that health insurance and health care should be handled by a single payer health care model. In the single payer model (used in Canada and most all other developed countries) unemployed people would still have health insurance coverage and would not fear medical bankruptcy. In the U.S. many bankruptcy filings are due to our high cost of health care, even though many people with medical bankruptcy were covered by health insurance. Tell your senators and members of Congress that now is the time for a single payer health insurance plan (expanded Medicare for all) for all Americans.
‘Chilling tactics’ used against protesters in Portland
Having government agents in unmarked vehicles randomly detain people on the edges of demonstrations is something dictators do. The fact that these officers’ uniforms apparently often don’t clearly identify them or their agency doesn’t help. The president claims he is protecting federal installations, but in Portland he has sent people to detain protesters far away from federal installations, protesters who were not damaging property or threatening federal buildings or committing any other crime. These detentions look very much like an attempt to scare people out of protesting. That is not something a democracy should do.
If the president feels that a courthouse or an office building or a monument needs protection, let him guard its perimeter. Don’t let him use chilling tactics against protests in general.