To the editor: Virginia Heffernan is too kind to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and other Republicans who refuse to wear masks, for their stupidity is just another manifestation of their cultish belief in President Trump.
If Trump calls the virus the "China Virus," so must his followers. If he says mail-in voting leads to fraud and that there is no Russian interference in our elections, or that he is the greatest of all presidents, then so say the faithful.
On the other hand, there is a certain logic in this for Republican political candidates. After all, if they don’t slavishly follow their master, they might not get elected, thus confirming founding father James Madison's fears: "I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation."
Up until the last few weeks of World War II, millions of Germans still believed their Fuhrer would rescue them from defeat and ruin. But of course we are more virtuous and wise than they were, right?
Daniel Connell, Moorpark
To the editor: Six years ago, I witnessed my mom gasping for air in the emergency room because of a lung condition. She resembled a fish out of water gulping for air, eyes bulging in sheer panic, bright red in the face and sweating profusely.
I held onto her while the respiratory specialist heroically worked to help her breathe. It was terrifying.
I hope some public service announcement is made that depicts what struggling for air sounds and looks like. This might make the suffering of COVID-19 patients more real to the uninfected.
Please, wear a mask, not only to protect yourself but also to protect others. Believe me when I say that you do not want to be alone in a hospital experiencing this terror with no loved ones by your side.
Robin Brigham, Valley Village
To the editor: By attending the Trump rally in Tulsa, Okla., on June 20, one could posit, Herman Cain took a bullet for the president.
What could be riskier for a 74-year-old man than traveling to a crowded rally in a coronavirus hot spot? He sat in an indoor venue with no social distancing and few people wearing masks. Although we don't know for sure where Cain contracted the virus that ultimately killed him, the outcome was almost as sure as a bullet.
Something good could come of this tragedy. As a tribute to his friend, the president could abdicate control over the federal response to the pandemic and hand it over without restrictions to Dr. Anthony Fauci and a panel of scientists. And, to avoid mixed messages, he should no longer tweet or comment on the pandemic.
This would be a win-win for the president. If it is successful, he can try to claim credit. If not, he will have someone to blame.
Arthur L. Wisot, MD, Rolling Hills Estates