As a physician, I find President Donald Trump's flawed leadership skills to be manifest with his botched COVID-19 response.
He claimed it to be a "foreign" virus, but microbes know no nationalities or boundaries.
Trump said we might get "about 12 cases" in the United States, but modeling of worst-case scenarios predicts more than a million times that.
He claimed it a "hoax," but it has now stricken hundreds of thousands worldwide and counting -- including in La Crosse County.
He said there would be a vaccine and treatment "in a few months," which is physically impossible.
Trump claimed to know nothing about closing the agency responsible for pandemic management, but is on record talking about why he did so.
His emergency declaration came after public health authorities (including the person who headed the Ebola containment program) stated this should have happened a month ago.
He appointed a czar (Vice President Mike Pence) and adviser (son-in-law Jared Kushner) who have no public health or microbiology background to lead the work.
China instituted a rapid response of testing and containment, and their cases peaked two weeks after numbers started to rise due to these efforts.
Trump claims that his efforts have contained the spread in the U.S., and by the above mathematical model, we should be reaching that peak. If this fails to happen, which looks exceedingly likely, then he is wrong about his plan.
Trump's leadership style of intimidation and misinformation may work with humans, but not against germs. Lesson learned - don't believe what he says.
I am a Wisconsin native living and working abroad in Switzerland, which like the United States is facing the Coronavirus outbreak.
During the past three weeks there has been rapid escalation of prevention measures, starting first with companies restricting travel and asking employees to work from home, followed by the government cancelling large events and school, limiting restaurant capacities, and closing the borders. These measures are not unlike those in the U.S.
Most remarkable is the irrational hysteria blanketing social media. The news media is not overstating the severity of the outbreak.
Italy recently reported 368 new deaths, and my own county in Switzerland reported 700 new cases – this is serious.
The government is not infringing on our rights by closing businesses and asking everyone to stay home; they are trying to limit the spread of the virus in order to manage an overwhelmed health-care system. People are not sicker in Europe due to socialized medicine. Switzerland’s health-care system is akin to the U.S. system, and there is still a significant outbreak.
Everyone must take a moment to reflect on the fact that this virus cares not of your personal or professional obligations or political affiliation.
We must take this seriously, but with a measured and common-sense approach. Now is the time for facts to prevail over social media hysteria. Follow the instructions of health-care professionals and the local government. We can and will get through this, but we must do it together with level heads.
To combat the COVID-19 coronavirus, we’re all supposed to stay home as much as possible and avoid public contact. What about the several thousand people in Dane County who don’t have a home to stay in?
I’ve had occasion to take someone to The Beacon in Madison to access its services for homeless people. It’s a day shelter where people can at least hang out during the day and get help with food, housing and other services. The Beacon is jam-packed all the time. No isolation is possible for people who want to access those services, or just get out of the cold.
If we really want to address the national emergency of the new coronavirus, we should address homelessness. In World War II, the army quickly built temporary shelters for troops. If we would treat homelessness as the national emergency it is, we would do things like that, as fast as possible -- within weeks, not decades.
It’s short-sighted to tell us to “stay home” and not to get close to strangers while ignoring the homeless population’s inability to follow those guidelines. Homelessness is a hole in the safety net for combating this epidemic.
As schools and sports events are cancelled, it's time the nation and its leaders get a grip on life again and do some positive things to resume our lives decently.
China has a monopoly on pharmaceuticals. But we can resume our former control of manufacture and distribution of U.S. pharmaceuticals.
The president and Congress should pass laws giving incentives for U.S. pharma-companies to do their former thing, including more research and distribution. And we need to make sure proposed antidotes for coronavirus are tested fully and put into circulation not only in America, but globally. And testing and treatment of patients too must proceed.
For U.S. businesses to stay open, we need to continue to buy or rent from them. Americans need to go about business as normally as possible -- residences must be kept up, groceries and sundries sold and bought, and as soon as possible, schools and other activities must resume. It doesn't hurt either to say some prayers when times are tough.
Americans are resilient and hardworking, with good ideas; we shouldn't shy from the fray entirely. Staying involved in as much life as possible is important for all of us, even during this time of coronavirus.
I’ve recently become highly involved with a nonpartisan youth voting organization on campus, I’ve noticed that the range of how students feel about politics on a college campus is far wider than I had anticipated. People's feelings aren’t as black and white as our political parties make them out to be.
Many young people feel passionately about politics, but conversely there are many people who could not care less, citing reasons such as; “I don’t like to get involved with politics,” or, more recently, “I don’t know anything about the candidates running.”
I used to understand this, but I grew up and realized that as a citizen of this country, it is my civic duty to educate myself and involve myself with politics, because whether I like it or not, politics involve you and me alike.
This awakening caused me to act, rather than sit back and let others dictate the politics that will affect my life.
We live in a time in which our country is functioning off of old views and ways of doing things, but there is hope for us millennials.
Older generations are continuing to decline, increasing our potential for the youth to control elections. It’s time our generation stopped complaining about the things we don’t like and acted toward changing those things.
We live in a country that gives voice to those who speak up. So go out, vote, and let your voice be heard.
Regarding the commentary of Richard Kyte (Tribune, March 8) “Truth begins at home,” the story centered around the columnist’s friend who is gay, married and whose mother seemingly is unwilling to accept (celebrate?) his lifestyle.
The son has apparently reported that his mother’s chief way of engaging the world is in moral terms.
He has told the columnist that he has experienced great pain; that his mother has not even told her friends about his sexual identity or attended his marriage, that she seemed oblivious to the pain she was inflicting. He was helping her in her old age.
Kyte attributes all this to lies we tell ourselves?
Is it wrong to engage the world in moral terms? And you are apparently the ethics professional, but I would think that ethics must arise from morality. No?
Let us give this poor woman some sympathy, shall we? Maybe her understanding of the world, morality and civilization goes back much further than her son’s.
I also note that all of the son’s report is one-sided and the mother cannot reply. For example, who says she blames others?
I have a feeling that if Kyte had a conversation with the mother you would also hear heartbreak. And as an educator at a Catholic university, I would think you could console your friend without condemning his sorrowful mother.
l am responding to Dan Smreka's statement that Wisconsin has towns, not townships (Tribune, March 8).
l live in a rural area often referred to as "the country" -- not a city, not a village, and not a town. According to his comment above I live in an area that doesn't exist. The fact is I live in the township of Coon, one of the 21 townships in Vernon County.
Towns and townships are labeled as "townships" by the U.S. Census Bureau. Towns are larger than villages and smaller than a city, and a mayor is the chief executive officer and includes a council.
A township is an area of land especially part of a county with a board consisting of a supervisor, a clerk, and 2-4 trustees with specific duties.
Several letters were submitted to the editor in regards to Wisconsin towns and townships.
For the record, I thought this letter may help refine the ambiguity between the two terms. Per Wisconsin State Statute, a town is a body corporate and politic, with those powers granted by law. As such, a town may:
Sue and be sued.
Acquire and hold real and personal property for public use and convey and dispose of the property.
Enter into contracts necessary for the exercise of its corporate powers.
However, in Wisconsin townships also exist, but only as the geographical area, that traditionally was a six mile by six mile square. These areas can be increased or decreased based on decisions by the town government and its electorate.
For example, in La Crosse County the townships of Farmington, Hamilton and Burns are larger than six miles by six miles. While the townships of Holland, Campbell, Onalaska, Medary, Greensfield, Barre and Shelby are smaller than six miles by six miles, the townships of Bangor and Washington are six miles by six miles.
Put in simpler terms, Wisconsin has both towns and townships. The towns are the governing entity and the township is the geographic area for which towns govern.
As an elected official, I’m writing to express my strong support for the campaign to write-in Joella Striebel for County Board District 1.
I have lived in District 1 for 24 years and believe that she is an excellent candidate to represent me, my family and my neighbors on the county board.
Joella is a successful North Side business owner – she and her husband Ty started Old Towne Strings in 2015.
She has also been instrumental in starting the Caledonia Street Farmers Market, which brings fresh produce to the North Side and gives local farmers, including many Hmong farmers, a place to connect with the community.
I believe that public officials should be knowledgeable and accountable to their constituents. Joella is a person who goes out of her way to make sure she understands a problem fully before making a decision.
I know that she will have an open line of communication to our neighborhood association and her neighbors when she is elected. She is also an experienced substance-abuse counselor who has served as a citizen member of the county’s Criminal Justice Management Council for several years.
She will bring this expertise to bring to the county board, where decisions about our community human services and health initiatives happen often.
I plan to write-in Joella Striebel for County Board District 1 on April 7th and I encourage my north side neighbors to do the same.