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Readers React: How Trump’s indecency and his disdain for science go hand-in-hand

President Trump delivers a speech in Miami on Feb. 18.
President Trump delivers a speech in Miami on Feb. 18.
(Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: As a cancer patient who has been helped by the recent developments in immunotherapy and gene-based treatments, I relate to (and agree with) Melinda Welsh’s points. It distresses me that President Trump treats science as a disposable option, if not an outright nuisance, when it runs counter to his political agenda or gut views.

But Welsh’s last sentence — “it’s science alone that offers us any real hope” — diminishes the full impact of Oliver Sacks’ quote. As Welsh also notes, Sacks opined that qualities such as “decency, common sense, farsightedness and concern for the unfortunate and poor” are needed to aid science in offering hope to the world.

Sadly, not only does Trump discount and disparage science, but he lacks any of these important qualities as well.

Russell S. Kussman, Pacific Palisades

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To the editor: Science is a way of knowing, not believing. Believing is an act of faith.

I have tried to explain the distinction to a member of my own family, when he was justifying his metaphysical beliefs to me with “proofs” from his web “research.” He declared, “Well, you believe in science.”

I do not believe in science. I accept and understand how science explains the natural world — as investigated, revealed and repeatedly verified by its self-correcting processes.

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Welsh poignantly conveys the benefits of medical and scientific progress with her ongoing participation in this world, “cancer free” though well past her “overdue date.” Her quoting of Sacks provides a bleak contrast with those who deny science and all that it can give us.

Jana Shaker, Riverside

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To the editor: Welsh’s op-ed article on Trump’s assault on the science of climate change, ranging from the administration’s abject ignorance on the subject to its pure greed, should stand alone as cause for impeachment.

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The “Russia thing” and multitude of other problems pale by comparison.

Stephen Downing, Long Beach

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