Letters | April 22, 2020


Reminder of a different self-confinement

Regarding “Even in enforced isolation, we must hear survivors’ stories” (Voices, April 16):
The isolation affecting most of us is  familiar to me. I recall vividly living in hiding for two years in Belgium during the German occupation to avoid deportation as a Jewish child to a concentration camp. I was then 10 to 12 years old, not attending school, avoiding youths my age and rarely stepping out of our hidden refuge in the Belgian Ardennes. Through my life, the isolation and stress of those early years have ever been in my memory. I still remember the anxiety and fear of being apprehended.

Today’s restrictions resonate, even at 87 years old.

Trump could solve this crisis

In their April 16 letters, Stanley Orman (“Trump’s heavy burden”) and Warren Manison (“The Goldberg crisis”) want to stop criticism of Trump while we have our COVID-19 and economic crisis: “We don’t need a third crisis that undercuts public confidence in our leadership at a time when unity must be achieved,” Manison writes.

I suggest that to achieve this, Trump should stop being critical of Democratic governors, China, those who criticize his actions, those who repeat his own conflicting and at times wrong messages and anyone who asks tough questions. Accept responsibility; develop a unified, coordinated, detailed process working with the states to solve the numerous and complex issues. Lead, not provoke. Can he do this?



Make America’s virus testing great again

When I read the letter from Stanley Orman, I was shocked. Then I read Warren Manison’s letter and almost passed out. First, let’s put President Trump’s connection with Israel aside and concentrate on our present crisis. Both letters seem to imply that they think Trump is doing a wonderful job handling this coronavirus crisis. They think that he is not responsible for any delay in attacking the virus and had nothing to do with any shortage of supplies.

On my TV, I saw something different. I watched Trump say, “We only have 15 cases and that will go away to zero in a short time.” That was after experts were warning of the great danger of the coronavirus. Then there was Trump’s statement that we have enough tests and that anyone who wants one can have it. I am amazed when I hear South Korea and Taiwan have so many tests that everyone gets one and our great USA does not. We need many millions of tests kits available before we can even think of eliminating social distancing.

The last fiasco happened when Trump declared that he was “completely” in charge and the next day declared that it is up to the governors to handle the situation. If this is leadership, then I am a Republican.
Silver Spring

A Goldberg variation

I have to defend my namesake, Sheldon Goldberg (“Is Trump good for the Jews?” letters, April 9). Leave alone the debate over President Trump being good for Israel (more accurately, good for Prime Minister Netanyahu); Trump is a disaster for the United States.

We are facing a pandemic and economic collapse, and from the beginning, Trump has put his image as priority No. 1. During a crisis, we expect a leader who is competent, who gathers (and listens to) experts, who organizes a national response and who brings people together to cooperatively fight the crisis. This isn’t a political party thing. In a time of crisis, I will be totally supportive of any leader who acts like a leader. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has been doing a fine job. He has been proactive, is working with top scientists, has taken sensible measures, gives good advice and is completely credible. Trump is not leading. He is campaigning. He is self-absorbed. The result has been disastrous.

I like Mike

Thank you for the extended profile of Mike Tabor’s career, social justice activism and Jewish life, by Arno Rosenfeld (“Not Dark Yet,” April 2). Tabor’s commitment to his vision of yiddishkeit — the importance of Jewish connection to civil rights and sustainable agriculture — was quite interesting and inspiring.

As Times Dictate

(A villanelle for the pandemic)

The tenor of our conversation shifts
Like islands we’re advised to keep apart.
There is no telling how far we may drift.

How long until our dampened spirits lift?
We comb for glue to join these fractured hearts.
The tenor of our conversation shifts.

Experts insist we must maintain the rift.
We see no ending to this endless start.
There is no telling how far we may drift.

When will, afresh, a touch become a gift?
The final course is not for us to chart.
The tenor of our conversation shifts;

From calm to tense, the switch is lightning swift.
A germ, no more, upsets the apple cart.
There is no telling how far we may drift.

We practice generosity and thrift
But keep our distance if we’re smart.
The tenor of our conversation shifts.
There is no telling how far we may drift.


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  1. In my Apr. 16 letter, I warned about the danger to this nation from the unrelenting hostility to the duly elected president. Three respondents, Edward Diener, Albert Jacobs, and Jay Goldberg totally missed the essence of my letter, instead using it is a weapon to further demonize President Trump. Each writer, like the news media in general, accentuated his negatives and ignored the positives.

    Yes, Trump talks too much, needs a speed bump between his brain and his mouth, sometimes gets his facts wrong, and provokes. But, they fail to understand that ACTIONS speak louder than words. Honest people would look at his Achievements in 3 ½ years, e.g. the (once) booming economy and record low unemployment, cancelling the Iran Nuclear Deal, solid support for Israel, beneficial trade deals, etc. and then wonder how all this was possible given the unrelenting attempts to drive him from office.

    They claimed that his efforts to combat the Coronovirus is because he wants to promote his image and his re-election. These claims border on insanity. He is a businessman, who knows the danger to this nation from an extended shutdown. He knows how to bring together people and organizations inside and outside of government to address the current crisis. His Task Force headed by V.P Pence has done an amazing job in building hospitals, providing medical equipment and a possible phased pathway to re-opening this country.

    Would these writers care to speculate whether this nation would be better off if Hillary Clinton had won the Presidency?


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