Toady, liar in charge of coronavirus info

This is, of course, insane, appointing loyal toady Mike Pence as gatekeeper for our information on the coronavirus. This means that we will be like China in the early days of this virus, with information withheld to prevent bad press for the administration.

Not to mention the time delay while Pence runs updates past the president, who will either block or compromise that information, or he may be too busy playing golf to respond. This is totally unacceptable and one more HUGE reason why Donald Trump and gang must be thrown out.

Trump is well known for his lying and distortion of the truth. He doesn’t hesitate to spout bald-faced, easily provable lies to disparage his enemies and feed his narcissism. His first statement about the virus lied about the number of cases in the U.S.; he said 15 when it was 60.

He lies like most people breathe. We cannot stand to have Pence and Trump in control of information about the coronavirus. Let Trump make all the false statements he wants for his duped followers to rely on, while the rest of us will listen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other reliable sources.

Roland Dupree, Venice

Article on virus shows bias against governor

A politically slanted article from your parent Gannett made the front page of your paper March 3 (“DeSantis’ virus response likened to Trump missteps”). The article, while not having very much content, focused mostly on our governor being a protege of the president, and as such making "missteps" in handling the coronavirus.

The article itself did not show the unfavorable picture of Ron DeSantis as much as it did the political motive.

While on the subject of front pages, it would seem that the news of the end of war in Afghanistan should have made the front page. Instead, it was buried inside as not being newsworthy. Perhaps, again, politics plagued a part in the decision.

I know it is hard to keep a level playing field in politics, but you can do better.

Charles Dawson, Venice

Afghanistan accord only partial pullout

To the writer of “Accord in Afghanistan belonged on front page” on March 1, I must point out that in the second-to-last paragraph of that article it was reported that the agreement only calls for reducing troop numbers to pre-Donald Trump numbers. Therefore, the agreement only removes the troops that Trump added to the war since taking office.

Was he advised to increase the numbers so he could later reduce them, giving the appearance of keeping a campaign promise? Maybe.

In the last paragraph, the article says that the action might allow Trump to claim a signature campaign promise being completed. That, we see now, is not true.

So I think the Herald-Tribune went “above and beyond” by printing it, and the letter writer did Trump a disservice by calling attention to it.

Donald Steiner, Sarasota

Sarasota pedestrians: Cross road cautiously

As teenagers in Pittsburgh many years ago, we would say “jaywalking is an art, not a crime,” to excuse risky behavior. Today in Sarasota, that judgment does not seem to be entirely unwarranted.

For pedestrians, following the law has its own hazards. As a daily walker, I have faced my share of confused/angry drivers who want to make a right-hand turn on a green light and are obstructed by a pedestrian.

For example, take the intersection of Beneva and Fruitville roads. I always wait patiently for the “walk signal.” While crossing Beneva with the “walk sign,” I try to be polite and allow cars traveling west on Fruitville to turn right when it is reasonable. Eventually, however, I must get across the street.

More than once, I have encountered drivers going west on Fruitville who blow their horns or otherwise indicate their annoyance with me. Recently, one person practically stopped and condescendingly showed me that she had a green light. I tried to explain that she had a green light to go straight but the “walk sign” took precedence.

Unsurprisingly, my mini-lesson was met with unarticulated scorn.

Paul J. Schafer, Sarasota

Preventable flu virus kills many thousands

There is a virus among us. It has infected over 32 million people in the U.S. alone since October 2019, requiring the hospitalization of over 310,000 and killing 18,000 people.

Worldwide, it traditionally kills over 600,000 people a year. It mutates every year. It is spread through contact between people, usually through coughing, sneezing and handshaking.

There is a vaccine for it, but ironically many people do not get it. There are no quarantines, no shutdowns of businesses or schools or cancellations of public gatherings. It is estimated that if everyone were inoculated, many people who die from it would not have been infected.

That virus is the flu virus.

Lee Hoffman, Lakewood Ranch