Saddening state of rhetoric

The recent flurry of antagonistic opinions about vaccination and masking saddens me.

A weekend opinion columnist excoriated “King Inslee” for requiring educational employees — K-12, childcare, early learning, and higher education — to be vaccinated by Oct. 18 as a condition of employment.

“This concept should be frightening to every American … a level of power and control that should not be given to elected officials in a free country,” the column stated. The writer seems unaware that such mandates have been around this “free country” for decades.

Each state, even DC, has its own vaccine requirements for children to attend public school. Most states allow exemptions for medical, religious, and/or philosophical reasons. A map corroborating this is at https://bit.ly/3gkwxPa. I would speculate that the author of that column is in compliance with his own childhood vaccination mandates.

A reasonable concern about the COVID-19 vaccine is that it’s relatively new. Long-term effects remain unknown. The same was true of other vaccines when first introduced: measles and poliomyelitis. Ever hear of the “March of Dimes” campaign to defeat polio? I grew up with it. I couldn’t swim in a public pool for fear of contracting polio. I’ve known friends who had polio as children and remained partially incapacitated as adults. The 1955 polio vaccine rollout was a disaster because some recipients contracted the disease. By 1960 a new, successful vaccine was introduced, and we’ve never looked back.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been amazingly successful wherever it’s been administered since its rollout last January. The vaccination should be no more of an individual choice than polio. It’s not about “power and control;” it’s about public health.

This year’s Darwin Awards will have many candidates who removed themselves from the gene pool by refusing to be vaccinated. Too bad they took so many with them.

Pete Haug

Colfax

Freedom more important

Breaking news: The survival rate for COVID-19 is 99.98 percent for those 49 and younger!

How many times have you seen that headline in the last 20 months? Every day the news focuses on the number of new cases and deaths from COVID. This preoccupation with the worst encourages fear, anxiety and depression. It’s difficult to keep a balanced perspective.

As of Aug. 21, 37 million people have survived COVID in the United States — and those are only the reported cases. That number is multiplied when unreported cases are considered.

COVID-19 is not a highly lethal disease. The classic example of a plague is the Bubonic Plague, which held a reign of terror for 200 years, killing 30 percent of Europe’s population. Whoever contracted the disease died in one to four days. No matter what their health.

COVID-19 kills very rarely, and this is mostly limited to the medically fragile. The survival rate drops to 99.5 percent for those 50-69. For those older than 70, the survival rate is 94.6 percent; I’m one of these survivors.

Please note: the group most adversely affected doesn’t include many people who are working; most are retired. So the vaccine is being mandated for workers with almost a 100-percent chance of survival. Why?

Before the pandemic, everyone was allowed — actually, expected — to make decisions about their own health care. Now Washington Gov. Inslee dictates what is best for everyone: masks, social distancing, lockdowns and vaccines.

Peer pressure, fear, bribery, lotteries — all have been used to convince people to get vaccinated. Soon the vaccine will simply be mandated for workers in Washington. This is wrong and unnecessary.

It’s great to have a vaccine available that mitigates the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. But it’s vital to preserve every person’s freedom to choose what is best for his or her health.

Paula Schwartz

Pullman

U.S. is a type of Israel

The level of angst in this country and around the world has increased significantly as we humans find more and more that we are not in control. The Bible, which was more than 25-percent prophecy when it was written, has a lot to say about the time we are living in and what is to come in the near future. For those who do not believe that the Bible is the word of God, they only need to review the 100s of prophecies that have been fulfilled to realize that only an Intelligence that knew the future could make that many prophecies and be 100 percent correct. For those who have not recognized God as God and Jesus as Lord and Savior, the level of angst will continue to increase as weather, pandemics, earthquakes, wars, famines, evil and more ramp up out of human control.

God gave us his word, including these many prophecies, so that we might seek after him and find him and experience life as it was meant to be without angst. The United States is a type of Israel. Both were founded on a special relationship to God. When Israel followed God’s decrees, he blessed them. However, when he prospered the Israelis, they turned away from his decrees and he allowed drought, plagues, enemies and more to discipline them. God prospered the United States above all other nations. Sadly as we prospered, just as Israel, we have turned away from God as a nation. We are now under discipline. If we continue to rebel against God as Israel did, we also will be destroyed but God has not promised to restore us as he promised Israel. We have a choice, on an individual basis and as a nation, to choose God or reap the consequences.

Larry Kirkland

Moscow

The 1619 Project

Children need to learn history to equip them with knowledge of the past so that they can form their own opinions and base their lives on truth. Unfortunately the “history” that the Democrats and President Biden’s Department of Education proposed until recently is a political ideology full of falsehood and distortion. A prime example, previously recommended by Biden for schools, is the 1619 Project.

The 1619 Project is a series of articles first published in the New York Times Magazine. One of the main writers was Nikole Hannah-Jones. She claimed that 1619, rather than 1776 was the true founding of America, because that year the first enslaved Africans arrived in the Virginia colony. A main assertion of hers was that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery. She also claimed that Abraham Lincoln was a racist.

One of the New York Times’ fact checkers told Hannah-Jones that her claim that one of the primary reasons the Revolutionary War was fought was to protect slavery, had been described as “nonsense” by a historian she consulted. Well qualified historians have said that “1619” puts ideology before facts in multiple ways. Peter W. Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, has written a book critiquing the 1619 Project, finding all but one of its major points false.

In spite of her fact checker, Hannah-Jones, went ahead with her paper as written, claiming she was right for almost a year. Later she said that her writing was “not meant to be history.”During the 2020 riots, Hannah-Jones tweeted that she would feel honored if they were called the “1619 Riots”. That tweet was later deleted.

Biden recently quit recommending the “1619 Project,” after many thousands of parents wrote in and complained. Unfortunately it is still being taught in lots of American schools.

Lois Johnston

Moscow

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