Bipartisan coronavirus response needed
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently stated that Senate Republicans would be working with the Trump administration to formulate a package for economic relief for Americans affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak. Once the package is completed, McConnell said, the Republicans would meet with Democrats to see what issues they can agree on. Why not have a bipartisan committee composed of both Republicans and Democrats to work on a relief bill?
The coronavirus is not solely a Republican or Democratic issue. It is a national issue. It should not be politicized. This should not be an attempt by either party to gain political points at the expense of our citizens. This looks like another us against you. The Senate should work cooperatively at a time where we must work together for the benefit of all.
This is a war
Coronavirus spreads across Maine. It has reached Lincoln and Knox counties. The state is not releasing the name and town of those testing positive.
Having completely bungled confinement, government is now doing the one thing that can: maximize fear, paranoia and panic, preventing people from assessing whether they may have crossed paths with a virus vector.
North Haven’s action is just the first step on a bad path of societal collapse, driven by critical information not being available. This is the information age — except when it is most important.
I don’t know if this is misguided HIPAA sensitivity or sheer stupidity, but I do know it goes in exactly the wrong direction from doing everything we can to make sure hospitals aren’t swamped with true positives, or people who are negative but overwhelmed by hypochondria fearing they may have literally bumped into the unidentified case.
This is a war with a real death count, but we sure aren’t acting that way.
Not the time for misinformation
Thank you to the Bangor Daily News for posting online information and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. I respectfully request that the BDN find a way to shut down the comments section of these postings, which is undermining the purpose of providing valuable life-saving advice.
Trolls and misinformed people are dismissing the seriousness of this crisis, posting conspiracy theories, and insulting people who are taking this seriously. Although I fully support the First Amendment and the right to express opinions, there are exceptions. There are times when public safety should override unbridled free speech — such as yelling fire in a theater or encouraging behavior that spreads deadly disease in the middle of a pandemic.
The comment section may drive traffic to the BDN website and increase advertising revenue, but for the sake of this public health emergency, the BDN should consider forfeiting that.
Virus may disrupt democracy
Maine citizens have historically enjoyed transparency especially when it comes to politics. What has always been rule-of-thumb here is our famous town hall meetings, and deep interest in face-to-face contact with our politicians and town officials.
Now with the onslaught of coronavirus it is becoming increasingly difficult, maybe impossible, for many of us to meet and explore the issues directly with the candidates.
This problem is further amplified with the Democratic primary race for the U.S. Senate against a Republican incumbent. Many of the Democratic candidates in the race have raised some money. However, just one of these Democrats has access to a large war chest of funds, including from national organizations, giving her what I believe is an unfair advantage to purchase lots of commercial air time and making the Democratic primary in Maine a very lopsided race.
Why permit outside big money to make the choice for us? To compound matters worse, the remaining Democratic candidates had planned grassroots town halls and forums meeting Mainers and spreading their enthusiasm, while sharing their ideas about the issues. Let’s call on local media to help level the playing field in our local race now that the coronavirus may make it impossible for gatherings like candidate forums and town halls to take place.