Forget partisanship; health, safety first


Let us hope that serious-minded Republicans deplore Donald Trump Jr.’s malicious, unfounded remarks Friday on Fox: “Democrats are rooting for the coronavirus to kill millions of people.”


I am a Democrat and what I root and pray for is that our leaders and elected officials in all parties urgently provide the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services, states, communities and epidemiologists the fiscal and physical resources to quickly and effectively prevent the coronavirus from spreading here in the U.S. and abroad, where we have millions of U.S. citizens residing and working.


Epidemic health crises affect all of us, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion or political persuasion. It is not helpful to have the president’s son politicize and demean Americans of any stripe for his father’s political advantage.


When will these folks learn that there are many issues — such as public health and safety — where partisanship must not be a consideration. Those in charge are responsible for all of the public’s health and welfare, not just for their loyalists.


Please contact our elected officials in Washington and express your support for the full funding requested by the experts at CDC and HHS to get the job done.


Geraldine Bernier, Sarasota


Improve traffic flow by working at night


I am astounded that no one has commented on the elephant in the room with regard to the horrendous traffic situation plaguing Sarasota and Longboat Key. In “Traffic tangles rile residents,” on Feb. 23, it is stated, “Work is also done during the day because of the potential for light and noise pollution that could disturb nearby downtown residents.”


Really? So, avoiding “disturbing downtown residents” takes precedence over elderly people stranded without aides who are refusing to drive to Longboat, ambulance issues, lost work time, etc.?


City manager Tom Barwin says that we have to “hunker down and get through and enjoy the benefits when it’s finished.” Well, perhaps the downtown residents (most of whom are on the wealthier side and used to getting their way) need to do some hunkering down.


P.S. My husband and I are moving out of Sarasota. The traffic, uncontrolled growth and attitudes such as this were a big impetus.


Debra Macchi, Sarasota


In Florida elections, transparency vital


On the Herald-Tribune’s front page March 1 was the article, “Will your vote count in Florida?" It states that Florida's secrecy about election security makes it nearly impossible to know if your vote is counted!


If we recall, the voting results here in Florida in the 2016 election were very close, with Donald Trump winning the state's 29 electoral votes by a margin of just 1%!


In New Hampshire, Michigan and Wisconsin, Trump won by even closer margins.


Florida is a totally Republican-run state, and as such, needs to be completely transparent with the voting public. Our democracy demands at least that much.


Marvin D. Myszka, North Port


Bill would fund palliative training


I write to urge our senators to pass the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (SB 2080). Palliative care is interdisciplinary symptom management for patients with chronic and serious illnesses such as cancer, COPD, heart disease and stroke.


Currently, there is a large gap between the number of health care professionals with palliative care training and the number required to meet the needs of the increasing population of seriously ill patients. PCHETA would go a long way toward bridging this gap by establishing education centers and career incentive awards to improve the training of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, social workers and other health professionals in palliative care.


I think we in Florida should take advantage of this opportunity to bring this funding to our state and benefit our local health care workforce. This funding would support local jobs and entice young health care professional to move here.


I urge our senators to co-sponsor the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act and work to bring this funding and economic growth home to Florida!


Catherine Emmett, Sarasota


Discover ‘treasure’ at Backus Museum


I could not agree more with the March 1 column by executive editor Matthew Sauer (“Sharing and an open mind led to priceless Florida treasure”). The A.E. Backus Museum is a priceless treasure.


If you or anyone you know is in the vicinity of Fort Pierce anytime from mid-October through mid-May, try to visit the museum. It is definitely a wonder.


To think that the beauty of old Florida is preserved in such beautiful paintings. There are paintings by the Florida Highwaymen on view, too. There are also paintings by the Highwaymen at the Whimsey Museum, in our own city of Sarasota.


Judith Kersun, Sarasota