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Opinion

Opinion: Why the anti-Trump coronavirus letters? Because that’s what readers are writing

Trump in the Oval Office
President Donald Trump speaks in an address to the nation from the Oval Office about the coronavirus on March 11.
(Associated Press)

In this era, commentary about President Trump has a peculiar way of popping up in discussions that seemingly have little to do with politics (the Houston Astros cheating scandal is one such example). So it may surprise no one that the Trump administration’s flat-footed response and dishonesty over the COVID-19 pandemic is dominating readers’ discussion of the coronavirus.

We’ve received a handful of complaints from evidently pro-Trump writers who denounce us for publishing many letters critical of the administration’s handling of the pandemic. But we can publish only what we get, and right now many letter writers are sparing no indignation in their assessment of the president’s job performance.

In fact, not only do submissions critical of Trump’s pandemic response vastly outnumber those that defend it, but so do submissions disagreeing with readers whose pro-Trump letters have been published. Here are several such letters.

Long Beach resident Judith M. Barden is not comforted by misleading information:

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I was aghast to read one letter writer’s comments defending Trump’s statements on the coronavirus.

Since when has obvious lying served the public good? His lies and lack of leadership severely limited our nation’s response to this pandemic, which now threatens many American lives.

We citizens are overwhelmed due to the absolute lack of a well-coordinated response by our government at the highest level, along with the limitations placed on the dissemination of scientific fact regarding the threat we face with the coronavirus. Instead of leadership, we are subjected to the whims of a man who had a “hunch” it would all go away.

The letter writer must be very comfortable in her world of alternative facts, but most people prefer the truth.

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Eileen Barish of Santa Barbara responds to the same letter:

For the woman who vehemently disagreed with those who criticized Trump for his calming comments regarding the coronavirus outbreak, do not let yourself believe that Trump does anything for the public. He even wanted to deal with this virus reportedly by classifying meetings about it, keeping the pandemic and its potential harm under wraps.

Thankfully even those close to Trump disagreed. The virus shouldn’t be kept secret. Americans should know about its damning effects, the deaths it has caused, the number of people who are infected, and the best ways to deal with it.

This is a time to think about Americans, not the stock market.

Claudia Donally of Los Angeles comments on what motivates Trump:

What the reader who defends Trump’s comments on off-loading cruise ship passengers misses is the reason he gave for wanting to delay his action. He said he did not want to allow it because it might double our infection numbers, and that would make us look bad.

To the president, appearance always trumps policy.


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