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Letters to the Editor: Why America tolerates a lying, hydroxychloroquine-hawking president

Trump takes hydroxychloroquine
President Trump tells reporters that he is taking zinc and hydroxychloroquine at the White House on May 18.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Kudos for an insightful report detailing how President Trump’s relentless disinformation campaigns serve him so well despite his administration’s chaotic malfeasance. The fact that such deceptive stratagems have not proved effective in many European democracies speaks volumes about our electorate.

Why might American voters be so singularly gullible? I suspect two primary reasons.

First, in recent decades, American educational outcomes have slipped markedly compared to those of our European counterparts.

Second, Europeans have become increasingly secular in contrast to the pervasiveness of religious affiliation among Americans. Consider how a willingness to take Trump on faith, especially among most evangelical Christians, keyed his 2016 election.

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The ever-darker cloud of disinformation hovers menacingly over our nation. As is said, democracy dies in darkness.

Devra Mindell, Santa Monica

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To the editor: What is the purpose of having an op-ed section when articles like this commonly appear on your newspaper’s front page?

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You are obviously free to print basically what you want, where you want it. If you choose, though, to continue to place what read like opinion articles on the front page, then be honest and call the L.A. Times an opinion publication, not a newspaper.

Note to editor: Review the difference between fact and opinion with your writers.

Lori Coy, Rancho Cucamonga

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To the editor: Whatever happened to the dictum that we physicians consider sacred, “First, do no harm”?

Why would any doctor, including the White House physician, violate such a principle by prescribing a potentially risky, unproven drug like hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 prophylaxis for an elderly man like Trump?

Harold N Bass, M.D., Porter Ranch

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To the editor: I have a proposal.

When reporting Trump’s statements, your reporters and editors should stop using “deceive,” “falsehood,” “unverified,” “disinformation” and other wimpy synonyms.

I pity your copy editors browsing a thesaurus to find substitutes such as “untruthful,” “fabricated,” “misleading” and “incorrect,” although “trumped up” might not be so bad.

It’s time to bring back the word “lie.”

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Francis Moss, Joshua Tree

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To the editor: Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

Trump is a supremely accomplished liar. It is his habit. Therefore, we should all be skeptical when he says he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine pills daily for “about a week and a half.”

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Julie Atherton, Tustin


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