Letters to the Editor: The U.S. was perfectly equipped to beat coronavirus. The federal government failed

People gather at Mission Beach, many of them not wearing masks despite a statewide order, on June 26 in San Diego.
(Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: I spent 45 years as a healthcare professional. I received my master’s degree in public health from UCLA in 1977, and I have held senior positions at the UCLA Medical Center and USC’s medical school. I have been providing management consulting services to healthcare organizations across the United States. (“Newsom warns of more coronavirus restrictions, enforcement ahead of July 4 holiday weekend,” June 30)

It is truly unfathomable to me how the United States, which contains 4.25% of the world’s population, has experienced 25% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases globally and has had more than 127,000 people die. Who could ever have imagined that the European Union would ban travelers from the United States?

This is clearly the result of our federal government’s failure to adequately respond to this situation in spite of having access to the best and brightest scientists, the most extensive and costly medical research facilities and infrastructure in the world, and the most and best trained medical professionals.

We cannot go back in time. Therefore, my hope is that this experience will serve as a tragic lesson going forward so that our children and grandchildren will never have to experience a similar disaster in the future.

Richard E. Sinaiko, Pacific Palisades


To the editor: You often show photos of beaches with articles about the spread of COVID-19. However, is there evidence from contact tracing that beaches are where many people become infected?

From what I’ve read and heard, prolonged indoor exposure is riskier than exposure outdoors. Also, I have found it easy to stay more than six feet apart from people at the beach, where the wind is often blowing.


Are your photographers just looking for a good picture, or are beaches really major sites for spreading infection? I would be unhappy if beaches were closed without good evidence.

Jennifer Mawhorter, Claremont


To the editor: Why does the COVID-19 resurgence in California surprise anyone?

Photos recently published in The Times showed dozens of high school graduates standing shoulder to shoulder with their unmasked mouths shouting with joy. Obviously, this graduation is not the only reason the virus is unchecked in Los Angeles County, but it is indicative of the problem.

A friend of mine who lives in Romania told me that if a person there is caught not wearing a mask, they are fined the equivalent of more than $600. Even the prime minister was fined for not wearing a mask.

The result? Romania, with a population twice that of Los Angeles County, has roughly one-quarter the confirmed cases and half the fatalities.

Brian Lipson, Beverly Hills


To the editor: The excellent editorial on the decision by restaurant chain Hugo’s Tacos to close because its employees were enduring physical and verbal abuse from customers who refused to wear a mask shows how blatantly President Trump’s behaviors affect our society.

Instead of being a role model for safe and healthful practices during this pandemic, he is stoking rebellion against them.

We cannot allow such a corrupt president to corrupt our human spirit and cherished values. Every time I learn of another travesty against every fiber of decency, morality, fairness and dignity, a part of me deep inside cries in pain.

My determination, resilience and optimism carry me through because I have faith that our new government will begin the restoration process for this country next January.

Theresa Destito, Pasadena