Letters to the Editor for May 23, 2020

Dodging COVID

Another day it is in Carson City, and one still has to be aware of this microscopic critter.
Masks, disinfectant wipes, hand washing along with an awareness of where this vermin is lurking, is all a part of a normal routine.
I certainly do not want to become a host(ess) with the most(est)!

Ann Burke

Carson City

Sweden's COVID-19 lesson

A recent Appeal column repeated Internet claims of praise for Sweden’s COVID-19 “soft lockdown” measures to develop herd immunity, suggesting that the U.S. should have followed Sweden’s approach to minimize economic damage. What are the facts from the Swedish lesson?

Currently there have been 281 COVID-19 deaths per million U.S. population. Sweden’s rate is 367.6 deaths per million, 1.31 times higher. At that rate the May 20 U.S. death toll would have been 120,250 rather than 91,920. Actually the U.S. death toll would be even higher since Sweden has a healthier population (average life span 82.7 years compared to 78.5 for the U.S.), universal socialist health care, and their soft lockdown included aggressive testing and contact tracing.

What about the value of achieving herd immunity to protect a population before there are vaccines? Reaching herd immunity from a virus is usually defined as when 70% of a population has protective antibodies from prior infections or vaccines. At the current rate of deaths per COVID-19 cases (12.2% for Sweden, 6% for the U.S.), achieving herd immunity for 70% of Sweden’s 10.1 million population would result in 643,000 Swedish deaths. Infecting 70% of the U.S. population of 327 million would result in 13.7 million deaths.

I suspect most of us will prefer to wait for a vaccine to reach herd immunity, while keeping our infection and death rates low by following the medical guidelines for slowly relaxing our COVID-19 controls while doing contact tracing to isolate infections.
Data: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

Jon Nowlin

Carson City

Elucidation of American jurisprudence

In regards to the May 13 article, “U.S. judge asks Nevada high court if gun makers can be liable”:

At first glance seeing this article I knew right away what it was all about. Some arrogant private practice lawyer just trying to swindle money out of a deep-pocket corporation. Let’s use some common sense (that a lot of judges and lawyers don’t have).

So, the lawyer wants to sue the manufacturer. This isn’t about the manufacturer being responsible for the killing, this is about a lawyer wanting more money in his pockets.

Another example would be if I bought a new car, drove it drunk and hit someone and caused his death. Is it the automobile maker’s or dealership’s fault I drove drunk and caused the accident? The car did not cause the death or accident. The driver did.

The manufacturer of the gun or dealer did not cause the deaths in Las Vegas. The shooter was the sole responsible person. Adding to that, it wasn’t even the hotel’s fault.

But in today’s society, we have a lot of lawyers who thrive on suing people for stupid and unwarranted reasons. Only reason being to line their disgusting pockets. The judge should man up and make a decision on his own. This situation reeks.

Eugene Cowles


On the origin of inequality

Guy Farmer (column, May 16) falsely claims that Democrats want open borders. But the legislative record does not support that. Democrats strongly support border security measures, though not the border wall he wants to build.

Trump grossly exaggerates and conflates Democrats’ opposition to his campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border and immigration priorities as “open borders.” There is no evidence that Democrats want anybody, including MS-13, to enter the United States freely. We all believe in secure borders, we just disagree on how to get there.

Stop the demagoguery, Mr. Farmer.

In regard to the rule of law, if Farmer truly believed in it, I’d love to read his next commentary on Attorney General William Barr’s move to dismiss the case against Gen. Michael Flynn. He could also comment on Trump’s phobic attempts to squash any type of oversight on himself or his administration. He does this by using the courts to stymie Congress’ responsibility for oversight.

Oversight is just another word for transparency. He fires whistleblowers and inspector generals. Trump hates the sunlight. I guess he and his sycophants work best in the dark. Which is where they all came from.

Alice Meyer



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